Pranab Mukherjee likely to head 3G ministerial panel

January 30th, 2009 - 8:55 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) The Group of Ministers (GoM) to decide the fate of third generation (3G) mobile spectrum auctions will most likely be headed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, an official source said Friday. “The ministers who will be part of the GoM will be decided by Monday. It will most likely be headed by Pranab Mukherjee,” the official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) Wednesday had referred a proposal for the auction of 3G spectrum to a GoM due to the differences between several ministries over the reserve price of spectrum and confusion over the number of players in each circle.

The government hasn’t yet managed to reach a consensus over a finance ministry proposal to double the reserve price for 3G and Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum.

Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Jyotiraditya Scindia hopes that the matter would be resolved soon, but analysts feel the plan to launch of 3G services in mid-2009 would be difficult to achieve.

Moreover, telecom operators too are not very keen on its early rollout in view of the current slump in the market.

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