Government expects just half the revenue projected from 3G auction

February 16th, 2009 - 7:28 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) The communications ministry may expect the auction of scarce 3G spectrum to fetch Rs.30,000-Rs.40,000 crore ($6-8 billion), but the interim budget for 2009-10 has projected no more than Rs.20,000 crore ($4 billion) on that count.

“The budget estimates for 2009-10 include a sum of Rs.20,000 crore as the expected revenue from auction of 3G spectrum,” says the receipts budget tabled Monday by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

The estimate has been included in what has been classified as receipts from the “other communications services”, amounting to Rs.33,335.33 crore anticipated in the next fiscal, against revised estimates of Rs.13,174 crore in 2009-10.

Some of the other heads under which the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) collects money from operators include recurring licence fee, entry fee, fee to offer V-Sat services, long-distance licence fee and mobile phone services.

The money collected for spectrum is akin to the licence fee for the use of radio frequency spectrum, which is considered a national asset.

The government is yet to resolve how much fee will be collected from the auction of 3G spectrum and the cabinet has decided to refer the matter to an empowered group of ministers, which is likely to be headed by Mukherjee.

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