2G: PM holds meet to discuss apex court verdict fallout (Lead)

February 11th, 2012 - 4:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Feb 11 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday held a crucial meeting with key cabinet colleagues to discuss the 2G issue in the wake of the apex court cancelling 122 licences issued during the tenure of former communications minister A. Raja.

The meeting held at the prime minister’s official residence was attended by union ministers Pranab Mukherjee and Kapil Sibal and also by Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati. The prime minister has sought Vahanvati’s opinion on the Supreme Court verdict.

The meeting is understood to have discussed the guidelines for the auction of 2G licences cancelled by the apex court. The meeting is also believed to have discussed the fallout of the cancellation of 2G licences and its impact on the telecom sector particularly in context of Norway and Russia voicing concern over investments by their telecom companies Telenor and Sistema, respectively.

The government has to complete the entire exercise of framing the guidelines for the auctioning of the cancelled 2G licences and actually putting them into effect within four months given by the apex court. The court had permitted the existing licence holders to continue their operations till the 122 licences are allocated afresh through auction.

The apex court verdict had held that the first-come-first-serve policy was flawed and had favoured auctioning of the 2G licences.

The apex court by its Feb 2 verdict has given two months to TRAI to make fresh recommendations for grant of licence and allocation of spectrum in 2G band in 22 Service Areas by auction, as was later done for allocation of spectrum in 3G band.

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