Govt eyes 1 lakh cr from spectrum sale

Govt eyes 1 lakh cr from spectrum sale

Govt eyes 1 lakh cr from spectrum sale

The Centre is set to garner over Rs 1 lakh crore from the auctioning of telecom spectrum, from March 4, after generating a similar amount from coal block.

For the entire amount of spectrum that will be put up for auction, an earnest money deposit (EMD) of Rs 12,000 crore could have been enough. However, telecom operators have deposited Rs 20,435 crore, which means fierce bidding is likely in the auction.

The deposit has the Department of Telecom (DoT) in an upbeat mood. “The EMD amount, the highest so far, shows there is high demand for spectrum, and we are looking forward to a successful spectrum auction,” said a DoT official.

The government is estimated to garner over Rs 82,000 crore from the sale of radio waves for providing 2G as well as 3G services. At the minimum or auction start price for the 2,100 Mega Hertz band or 3G spectrum, the government may garner at least Rs 17,555 crore.  The reserve price for auction of 2G spectrum in the 800 MHz, 900 MHz and 1,800 MHz bands will fetch the government Rs 64,840 crore. With the record EMD, the final earnings could be more than Rs 1 lakh crore, said sources.

Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited has submitted the highest EMD of about Rs 4,500 crore, followed by Bharti Airtel (Rs 4,336 crore), Idea Cellular (Rs 4,000 crore), Vodafone (Rs 3,700 crore), Tata Teleservices (Rs 1,500.25 crore), Reliance Communications (Rs 1,175 crore), Uninor (Rs 724.95 crore) and Aircel (Rs 500 crore), said sources.

For the previous auction, conducted in February 2014, the government had received EMDs of Rs 8,759.75 crore from eight companies.

Though money raised through the sale of coal blocks goes to the respective state’s exchequer, the fund raised from auction of radio waves will go to the Centre’s kitty.
Revenue generated from the auction can help the government meet its fiscal deficit target in the current financial year, added the source.

The government is working on restricting the fiscal deficit at 4.1 per cent of the GDP for the current fiscal, the lowest in seven years.

 It had put in place a fiscal consolidation roadmap as per which the deficit is to be brought down to 3 per cent of the GDP by 2016-17.