Pranab asks Telenor to bid in 2G auction

Pranab asks Telenor to bid in 2G auction

Promising early completion of the 2G spectrum auction, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday asked Norwegian telecom major Telenor to participate in the auction process.

During his meeting with a business delegation led by Norwegian Trade and Industry Minister Trond Giske, Mukherjee is learnt to have informed that the government was acting on the directions of the Supreme Court, which had scrapped all 122 licences for 2G spectrum granted in 2008 under now jailed Telecom minister A Raja. Telenor CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas was present at today’s meeting.

Though 400 days were required to complete the auction process, the Minister told the delegation that the government “will try to finish the process at the earliest”.

After the meeting, Baksaas said that his primary concern is to continue his company’s  operations. He said the government should align all the developments related with auction process and conduct it by June 2. The auction process should be conducted in a way that it does not lead to any disadvantage to the companies seeking fresh licences.

Telenor, which operates under the brand name Uninor, has lost all its licences after the Supreme Court struck down the licences auctioned in 2008.

Telenor, in which the Norwegian government holds a 54 per cent equity stake, has a joint venture with India’s Unitech Wireless Ltd known here as Uninor. 

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