India may announce revised 3G rules in a week

By : |June 18, 2009 0

NEW DELHI, INDIA: India is likely to decide within a week revised rules for a pending 3G spectrum auction, including a possible increase in the base price, the IT and Telecom Minister A. Raja said on Friday.

The auction of third-generation radio spectrum, which would allow firms to offer high-speed Internet and video downloads on mobile phones, was originally planned for January, but was delayed after high prices fetched by private telecoms companies for selling stake sales prompted a review of the floor price.

Raja said the Finance Ministry has proposed a reserve base price of Rs.4,040 crore for 3G spectrum auctions and the final announcement could be made in a week.

‘It is a proposal by the Finance Minister. We have discussed the matter with the Prime Minister,’ Raja told reporters after meeting Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. He said the matter will be referred to the GOM (group of ministers) or the CCEA (Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.

"We had a discussion with the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister. We discussed certain things," A. Raja told reporters.

The Finance Ministry’s demand as also other proposals were being considered, he said without elaborating. A cabinet committee of a ministers’ panel will announce the final decision, hopefully within a week, he said.

The Telecom Ministry last year set a base price of 20.20 crore for pan-India 3G spectrum, but the Finance Ministry wanted the price doubled as it needed revenue to keep a lid on burgeoning fiscal deficit.

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