Uncertainty over the auction of 3G spectrum continues as an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) seems to have remained unable to resolve the differences between Telecom and Defence Ministries over the vacation of the airwaves.
Asked whether the government would be able to meet the deadline, Telecom Minister A. Raja said: “As a Minister I would like to see the auction on time.” He, however, declined to comment on what transpired in the EGoM headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
The government has scheduled the auction of 3G spectrum for January 14, next year.
Sources close to the development said that Sam Pitroda, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Infrastructure and Information, who has been roped in to get the spectrum vacated, was not present in the meeting and thus no decision could be taken.
Briefing the media after the Cabinet meeting, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said the committee “discussed the issue, but the chairman specially instructed all members not to share it.”
When asked why the decision could not be shared with the media, Ms. Soni said: “We will share it at an appropriate time when a decision is taken. Discussions may not necessarily be conclusive.”
The meeting was held to review the progress on auction of 3G mobile licences amid sharp differences between Telecom and Defence ministries over the release of spectrum (airwaves) for commercial use.