As per the new schedule given by Times Internet, the agency which will operate the auction process, the bidding for the airwaves for the telecom spectrum can be started only by early November
New Delhi: The Indian Government may request the Supreme Court to extend the deadline for completing spectrum auction by about three months to November, reports PTI.
According to sources, as per the new schedule given by the agency which will operate the auction process, the bidding for the airwaves can be started only by early November.
"The bidding for spectrum is expected to start only by early November. The extension from the court will be sought accordingly," said an official source.
The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on telecom on Tuesday decided to approach the apex court to seek an extension of 31st August deadline to complete the auction of airwaves.
"Auctioneer has given us schedule...we will approach the Supreme Court to place before them the fact what government has done. Also, we will place before them that in terms of this schedule, it is not possible to conduct auction by 31st August," Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters after EGoM.
After cancelling 122 telecom licences in February, the Supreme Court had asked the government to complete auction by 31st August and extended the validity of quashed licences till 7th September.
It is crucial for companies such as Sistema Shyam, Uninor and Videocon to win the auctions so as to be able to continue operations.
Sibal said the government will file an interim application before the court and request it to consider the facts as stated.
"As you know, (the validity of) licences has been extended till 7th September. So, we will go back to the Supreme Court with interim application (IA) and request it to consider the fact as stated in the application," Sibal said.
Sources said that IA will be filed before the apex court within a week.
On Monday, the Department of Telecom (DoT) selected Times Internet Ltd (TIL) as the specturm auctioneer.
The EGoM, headed by P Chidambaram, today discussed the schedule which DoT has prepared in consultation with TIL.
DoT will now issue Information Memorandum (IM), the final document that will carry complete details on the auction. Sources said IM will be issued by the end of this month.
The government will have to complete 13 processes before the actual bidding starts. These include responding to queries of potential bidders, inviting applications and giving time to companies for submissions, finalising eligible bidders, public information sessions and mock auction.
The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has finalised Rs14,000 crore as the minimum price for 5 Mhz spectrum in 1800 Mhz band, and Rs18,200 crore for 5 Mhz in the 800 band.
The base price approved by the Cabinet was 22% lower than Rs18,000 crore suggested by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). It is, however, seven times higher than the price new companies had paid in 2008 under the then Telecom Minister A Raja.