Government ignored suggestion for auctioning 2G spectrum: Watchdog

November 28th, 2008 - 8:09 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 28 (IANS) India’s telecom watchdog Friday said the government ignored its suggestion that the second generation (2G) radio waves be auctioned, which would have generated higher revenue. “We recommended auctioning of 2G licences but DoT (the Department of Telecommunication) did not go by it,” Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) chairman Nripendra Mishra told reporters on the sidelines of a conference here.

The 2G-spectrum sale has been much-debated, and Communications Minister A. Raja is believed to have given out the radio frequencies at throwaway prices.

Though the minister claims that 2G spectrum is not auctioned anywhere globally and that the DoT has stuck to the TRAI recommendation of ‘first come first served basis’, the TRAI chief seems to have a different view altogether.

“We have said a mechanism should be evolved for giving licence, which must capture the market price,” Mishra said.

“Instead of making judgment who is right or wrong, we should really be looking at if there is scope for getting more revenue for the national exchequer,” he said.

However, regarding the global financial turmoil, Mishra said the Indian telecom sector, “because of its innate strength and resilience”, has remained by and large unaffected.

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