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Updated: February 16, 2010 18:42 IST

No clarity on timing of 3G auction: Raja

PTI
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Telecom Minister A Raja
The Hindu Telecom Minister A Raja

Telecom Minister A Raja said he is waiting for directions from the Finance and the Law Ministries on the timing for auctioning of third generation radio waves, which will help telecos offer faster data services.

“There is no clarity yet.. I am waiting for directions from the Finance Ministry and the Law Ministry and have not got any from them,” Raja told PTI when asked whether the auction would happen this fiscal or in the next.

Earlier in the day, Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar, who was heading the high-level committee to monitor vacation of spectrum by the defence forces, said revenues would get preference to timing for 3G auction.

“I don’t think it really particularly matters if it happens this year or the next year.. They (DoT and the Finance Ministry) will take the decision based on how the revenue can be maximised,” he said.

Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla said that auction date will be decided by the Telecom Ministry.

Though both the Cabinet Secretary and the Finance Secretary said the issues involved with 3G have been resolved, there is still no clarity on the timing of the auction.

The empowered GoM, headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, had made a provision for garnering up to Rs 35,000 crore from the sale of airwaves in the current fiscal.

It hopes to use the proceeds to partly cut down the fiscal deficit, estimated to touch 6.8 per cent of the gross domestic product in 2009-10.

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