The Finance Ministry on Wednesday said no decision had been made on the timing of the auction of 3G wireless spectrum.

“There is no formal decision on 3G spectrum auction yet,” Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla said while replying to a query whether 3G spectrum auction has been put off to next fiscal.

Earlier official sources said 3G spectrum auction, which was expected to bring in Rs. 35,000 crore to the exchequer, has been deferred to the next fiscal.

According to senior officials in the Department of Telecom, Law Minister Veerappa Moily, who is a member of the EGoM, has opined that the auction should be held when the spectrum is available.

Officials, however, said that the auction is expected to take place in August-September this year. Ministry of Defence had agreed to vacate the spectrum only during the middle of this year.

The Empowered Group of Ministers, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, had decided to allow four private telecom firms for the next generation mobile telephone services (3G) and had made a provision for garnering up to Rs 35,000 crore from the sale of airwaves in the current fiscal.

The deferment of 3G spectrum auction to 2010-11 is likely to have some adverse impact on the government’s finances and the fiscal deficit which is pegged at 6.8 per cent of the GDP.

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