Govt bets on spectrum auction to plug fiscal hole
Sources indicated that the government could get an additional bonanza of at least Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 crore from the sale of airwaves in the current fiscal.
“We will get to the actual realisation from disinvestment proceeds towards the end of the year. But going by the 3G auction results in 2010-11, we are hopeful that the auction this time too will bring in enough to bridge the deficit, if required,” a senior finance ministry official said.
The Union Budget for 2012-13 had pegged revenue from the telecom sector at Rs 58,217.33 crore of which sale of spectrum is expected to bring in Rs 40,000 crore. Another Rs 30,000 crore is estimated from disinvestment proceeds. These two sources of revenue are being seen as essential to contain the fiscal deficit at the targeted 5.1 per cent of the GDP. An Empowered Group of Ministers led by home minister P Chidambaram met on Thursday to discuss the modalities of 2G spectrum auction that is due before August 31. “Some finality on this will give the economy a lot of comfort as it faces the threat of a possible downgrade from rating agencies partly
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