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Final call on 2G pricing today

Published: 03rd August 2012 08:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd August 2012 08:08 AM   |  A+A-

The Cabinet is expected to meet on Friday to discuss the reserve price and user charges of spectrum that is to be auctioned as per the Supreme Court order by August 31.

According to sources, the Cabinet was scheduled to meet on Thursday but the meeting was cancelled for undisclosed reasons. When it meets on Friday it is expected to discuss the spectrum reserve price and usage charge.

The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), headed by P Chidambaram, has suggested a 20 per cent lower base or reserve price at Rs 14,000-15,000 crore for 5 Mhz of airwaves as against around Rs 18,000 crore recommended by the sector regulator, TRAI.

The EGoM has proposed to fix 1.3 times of this price as minimum price for companies that may bid for airwaves that are being used for providing CDMS services at present.

On the issue of spectrum usage charge the high-powered panel has suggested a slab rate system in the range of 3-8 per cent.

EGoM has already taken decisions on mortgage of spectrum terms of payment and roll out obligations.

The industry had been pitching for a 80% cut in the reserve price as they feel TRAI recommended rates would lead to up to 100%  hike in mobile telephone charges.

The auction is crucial for companies like Uninor and Sistema Shyam who have time till September 7 to offer their services after which they will be forced to close down their operations in case they fail to get a licence.

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