Auction riches to remain pipe dream as telcos keep distance
Monday was the last day for the companies to submit applications if they wished to participate in the auctions.
With the Union Budget slated to be presented in Parliament on Thursday, it remains to be seen what steps the government takes to salvage the situation as it needs the proceeds to reduce the fiscal deficit. One option is to reduce the reserve price as the industry has clearly indicated that the current reserve price is unviable.
Telecom secretary R Chandrasekhar told FE that the government would explore all options to see how spectrum can be auctioned in the 1,800 and 900 MHz bands.
The decisions on reserve price are taken by an empowered group of ministers headed by finance minister P Chidambaram before approval by the Cabinet.
Even if the government were to reduce the reserve price, it may not be able to auction spectrum in the 900 MHz band because the two operators — Bharti Airtel and Vodafone — from whom it has to refarm the spectrum got a sort of relief from the Delhi High Court last week. The
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