New Delhi, Dec. 4: The empowered group of ministers (EGoM) on spectrum is expected to meet on Friday to discuss the pricing policy for the second round of auction in March.
The panel is also likely to discuss the sale of spectrum in the 800MHz band (used for CDMA technology) and alternatives to an auction.
The meeting assumes importance after the Supreme Court last month questioned the government’s plan to hold another auction of spectrum left unsold in the November 12 sales, saying it can lead to complications. Besides, it sought to know the reason behind holding back radio waves (spectrum) in the November auction.
The government has defended itself by stating that the current demand for radio waves is low, and offering the entire amount will not yield higher market value.
The department of telecom is expected to file another affidavit with the apex court stating that the government only followed Trai’s recommendation to restrict sale as it was looking into the future road map for the sector and had to address concerns such as a level-playing field in the 900MHz band.
Last month’s spectrum sale fetched the government less than a quarter of its revenue target of Rs 40,000 crore and found no takers for more than half the airwaves.
The government earned just Rs 9,407 crore through the sale of around 127MHz in 18 circles.
Lucrative circles of Delhi, Mumbai, Rajasthan and Karnataka did not receive any bid. The EGoM is expected to discuss the complexity of lowering the base price of radio waves for these circles.
“There are legal complexities involved in lowering base price. Moreover, seeking fresh proposals from Trai will be a time-consuming process,” ministry officials said.