2G auction likely in Sept

The much awaited bidding for 2G spectrum may start in September with the government planning to issue the final documents on August 27.

Though the Supreme Court has directed the Department of Telecom (DoT) to complete the auction before August 31, it would be difficult to meet the deadline as the government is yet to decide base price. Seeking extension of August 31 deadline the government may approach the apex court soon.

An Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) headed by Home Minister P Chidambaram on July 18 is believed to have been apprised of the new date for the issue of Information Memorandum (IM), government sources said. IM was previously to be issued on August 6 and was later deferred for August 22. Now, the EGoM has been presented with August 27 as the new date.

The early auction is important for companies like Sistema Shyam Teleservices, Uninor and Videocon whose permits for telecom services is valid till September 7 only as per the Supreme Court order. The EGoM is scheduled to meet on Friday to take a view on spectrum price which may be referred to the Cabinet for final decision. The DoT announced part of the schedule in a notification. As per new dates, potential auctioneer will have to submit bid by July 30 instead of July 20 and selection of the agency will be announced on August 8.

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