30 pc cut in reserve spectrum rates okayed

Auction of 900 MHz band approved

The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the Empowered Group of Ministers’ suggestion of a 30 per cent reduction in reserve price of 2G spectrum in four zones, that went unsold in the recent auction.

The Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, also approved auctioning of spectrum in the 900 MHz band in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata simultaneously with the sale of radio waves in the 1,800 MHz band in these four circles.

In the auction conducted last month, radio waves in Delhi, Mumbai, Karnataka and Rajasthan found no takers since bidders found the prices too high.Subsequently, the EGoM recommended a 30 per cent cut in the reserve price of spectrum in the 1,800 MHz band in the four circles. The reserve price for last month’s sale was Rs 693.06 crore in Delhi, Rs 678.45 crore in Mumbai, Rs 330.12 crore in Karnataka and Rs 67.08 crore in Rajasthan. After the 30 per cent cut, the new base price will be Rs 485.14 crore in Delhi, Rs 474.92 crore in Mumbai, Rs 231 crore in Karnataka and Rs 46.90 crore in Rajasthan.
The Department of Telecom is working on auctioning the unsold spectrum by the end of this fiscal, but the final date is yet to be decided.

Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekar told reporters here that the government will auction spectrum in the 900 MHz band being held by incumbent GSM operators whose licences will come up for renewal in November 2014. They can hold 2.5 MHz of spectrum in each circle in the same band after expiry of their licences by paying a market-determined price.

Investment board

The Cabinet also cleared a proposal to set up the Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI), to be headed by the prime minister, for single window approval of projects worth over Rs 1,000 crore.

Though the high-power committee set up to grant clearance to infrastructure projects was initially named the National Investment Board (NIB), the Cabinet decided to rename it.

 The committee will have ministers in charge of infrastructure sectors as members.

Comments (+)