India to auction 3G spectrum by 2009 end: Raja

By : |May 31, 2009 0

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Union Minister for IT and Telecom A. Raja said on Monday that India would auction third-generation wireless radio (3G) spectrum by the end of this year.

"Definitely… in 2009 itself," Raja told reporters while responding to the queries about 3G auctions. However, the minister declined to say how much the government expected to raise through the sale.

Raja also said that his ministry would expedite all the processes and would review all the decision that was made in between his tenures as union minister.

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“I would review all the developments that had taken place within last one month,” said Raja. This review would include the last $6 billion tender of BSNL which had been pushed to court by Nokia Siemens.

“I would not be able to comment on BSNL tender till the time I review it,” the minister added.

On 3G and BWA he reiterated his commitment to auction both the spectrum within two months after clearance from the Group of Ministers.

“Earlier the Spectrum auction issue was referred to the GoM. Legally speaking, I would say that I am not aware if GoM is still in existence or not. I will consult with the Prime Minister and Finance Minister. If GoM then formed is no longer in existence then I will look at ways we can move forward,” said Raja.

Raja once again promised to boost manufacturing in India but was not sure whether it is his ministry that looks after manufacturing related issues of set-top-boxes.

“Semiconductor policy that was announced with state governments is expected to receive more investment. Already proposals have been received to the tune of Rs 1,57,000 crore and they have been charted out. Some proposals are being admitted within principal players.”

The minister said that India is lagging in hardware manufacturing. “We don’t have any self reliance in this field. In this tenure we want to ensure that the manufacturing hub and connected areas will be promoted.”

In the next five years Raja has promised to make effort so that India can have paper less governance with the help of e-governance project implemented in his last tenure.

“We are expecting support from state government to make sure that we meet our goal of paperless governance,” said Raja.

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