Now, Raja seeks FMs help to resolve spectrum issue with defence ministry

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 28 2009, 05:34am hrs
After announcing that 3G spectrum would be auctioned on January 14 next year, telecom minister A Raja has sought finance minister Pranab Mukherjee's help to resolve persisting differences with the defence ministry.

"I would like to point out that the differences between department of telecom (DoT) and ministry of defence on the 3G spectrum available for auction still persist, and hence, we have not mentioned actual frequencies of the spectrum to be auctioned in the revised information memorandum," he informed Mukherjee in a letter, the second in the last 10 days.

The DoT issued the information memorandum last week, saying auction would start on January 14 and for this to happen, the blocks of spectrum to be auctioned must be identified latest by the first week of December.

According to Raja's letter, the government would get the revenue, pegged at Rs 25,000 crore, during February next year, provided the auction is held as per schedule.

"I understand that a fast track mechanism is being put in place to sort out the differences between DoT and ministry of defence so that 3G auction can take place in this financial year," the minister said in the letter.

The DoT, which is currently in the eye of a storm over alleged irregularities in 2G spectrum allocation, has allowed foreign entities to participate in the auction process subject to existing FDI rules and guidelines.

"I am trying ... couple of days back, I came to know the memorandum of understanding signed between the ministries of communications and defence, there are some clarifications that are needed, that we would sort it out," Mukherjee had said last week.