Spectrum auction by year end or early next year, says Ravi Shankar Prasad

Ravi Shankar Prasad   | Photo Credit: PTI

India will launch its much-awaited spectrum auction later this year or early next year, a move that could see government mopping up ₹5.86 lakh crore at base price.

“By the year end or the beginning of next year, we propose to go for auction of spectrum. We have ensured that India’s auction of spectrum will be done in fair and transparent manner,” Union Minister for Communications, Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad, said here on Friday.

This would be government’s largest spectrum auction, where over 8,200 MHz of airwaves will be up for grabs and the auction will see the debut of fifth generation (5G) spectrum, which is expected to propel the telecom industry towards the next phase of growth, besides the sale of 4G spectrum.

However, the telecom industry is reeling under debt of almost ₹8 lakh crore, with leading operators like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea having debts of ₹1.16 lakh crore and ₹1 lakh crore respectively.

Talking about the concerns of the sector, Mr. Prasad said, “My government, my department is surely look into the problems of the telecom sector. Many of them... we have already taken up with the government. All policy initiatives have been done, starting from spectrum trading to spectrum sharing. A communications policy is already in place.” Mr. Prasad had already sought emergency relief from Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for the stressed sector, seeking a cut in levies such as licence fees and goods and services tax (GST).

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 1:28:37 PM |

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