EGoM on spectrum auction changed to GoM, will report to Cabinet
by PTI | 5th-Jul-12 19:58
The Empowered Group of Ministers on auction of spectrum has been downgraded to a Group of Ministers with recommendatory powers only and the final decision on price and timing for sale of airwaves will be taken by the Cabinet.
The EGoM has been reconfigured to a GoM, a government source said.
The development follows Pranab Mukherjee, who was heading the EGoM, quitting as Finance Minister to contest Presidential elections.
Subsequently, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar was made the head of the high-powered ministerial panel but he recused himself.
The EGoM was tasked with finalising modalities of auction of telecom spectrum. It had last met on June 5 and is running against time to meet the August 31 deadline set by Supreme Court for completion of the auction.
The Union Cabinet had earlier this week referred proposal to levy a one-time auction-determined fee for all spectrum existing telecom companies currently hold, also to EGoM. Sources said the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had made three proposals to the Cabinet- levy one-time fee on all airwaves held by existing telecom companies;impose a
fee on airwaves held beyond the start-up spectrum of 4.4 MHz;or levy a fee on airwaves held beyond the contracted spectrum of 6.2 MHz.
If the term of reference of GoM continues to be as EGoM then it will recommend a minimum or base price for auction of auction of spectrum vacated by the Supreme Court cancelling 122 telecom licences issued by the then Telecom Minister A Raja in 2008.
However, the head of GoM and its next meeting date could not be ascertained