A high power ministerial panel, on Wednesday, sought the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) opinion on the start or reserve price to be set for the forthcoming spectrum auction.

TRAI has been asked to give its recommendation within 60 days.

“It is decided that on the issue of reserve price the matter should be referred to TRAI, and we will request the regulator to give its recommendations before the end of 60 days because the government is keen to move forward and sell the spectrum,” Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters here.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) is required to conduct the third round of spectrum auction in 20 out of 22 service areas to comply with the Supreme Court order of February 15. Mr. Sibal said that after receiving the recommendations, the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) will meet to fix the reserve price so that spectrum in all bands can be sold.

“...as and when TRAI makes a recommendation, the EGoM will meet and fix the reserve price and move forward so that all spectrum in all bands should be sold,” Mr. Sibal added.

As per initial recommendation of TRAI in April, 2012, the base price of pan-India 5 Mhz of spectrum amounted to Rs.18,200 crore, which was around ten times higher than the amount paid by telecom companies in 2008 for the same.