Govt Defers 3G Spectrum Auction To Jan 2009
Minister of Communications and Information-Technology, A Raja has indicated that the much waited auction of third generation (3G) spectrum could be delayed by 10-15 days.
The auction, which was initially planned to be held in December this year, has now been deferred to be conducted on January 2009.
Speaking on this, Mr. Raja said, “We will try to complete it by December 31. However, because of Christmas and holidays, we could postpone it for another ten days. However the deadline is December 31, subject to a little changes.”
However, the finance ministry had written to the DoT expressing its concern over the delay in starting the auction process.
Commenting on the letter, Raja said, “It is a routine letter, the finance minister asks for a time line usually, that does not mean they are pushing us or asking for a delay. We will finish it (the auction process) by January 15, the operators have to submit the money by January 31.”
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had also hinted at reviewing the time schedule for auction amid anticipation that participation of foreign players would be less than expected in the wake of global financial crisis.
The state owned BSNL and MTNL however have already been guaranteed 3G spectrum.