No consensus on 3G reserve price: Raja (Lead)

June 16th, 2009 - 10:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) No consensus has been reached between the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the finance ministry on the reserve price for third generation (3G) radio waves auction, Communications Minister A. Raja said here Tuesday.
Raja, who met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Tuesday here to discuss issues related to 3G spectrum auction, told reporters that the reserve price matter would be discussed with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“No consensus as of now on the base price. We discussed various suggestions that whether we should go for uniform base price or differentiate according to circles depending upon commercial viability,” Raja said.

“We shall definitely reach a solution on the reserve price before the presentation of general budget on July 6,” he added.

Raja said the government was mulling the option of differential base prices for telecom circles.

“The base price (for 3G bandwidth) can be differentiated according to circles (service areas), depending on the viability,” he said.

The number of slots to be issued and the availability of radio bandwidth were also discussed at the meeting. But, “no decision has been taken yet,” Raja said.

The DoT plans to auction radio frequencies for the country’s 20 of 22 telecom service areas.

The process has been delayed a number of times after the finance ministry suggested that the starting auction price of Rs.2,020 crore be doubled.

Earlier in the day, Raja said he expected a revenue of at least Rs.25,000 crore from the auction of 3G, broadband and wireless services.

The estimate is lower than what the government had forecast last year, Rs.30,000 crore, when the 3G auction process was announced.

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