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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

Govt defends partial auction

Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 22, 2012
First Published: 23:23 IST(22/11/2012) | Last Updated: 23:24 IST(22/11/2012)

Defending its decision to partially auction the 2G spectrum on November 13, the government on Thursday said any increase in its quantum would have had serious implications on revenue realisation.

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Three days after the Supreme Court lashed out at the Centre for taking the 2G case casually, the secretary of Department of Telecom (DoT) defended the government decision to auction part of the total spectrum that stood cancelled after the SC verdict in February 2012.

DoT’s affidavit, filed by R Chandrashekar, stated partial auction was in consonance with the TRAI’s recommendation and in public interest as it provided sufficient opportunity for new entrants as well as optimal revenue. It added auction should be appreciated in the context of the market dynamics operating in the telecom sector.

Pursuant to allegations that the government had not put the entire 473.6 MHz of spectrum on auction, the SC bench headed by Justice GS Singhvi had sought the Centre’s explanation.

Spectrum in 2G bands of 800 MHz and 1800 MHz were put to auction in all 22 service areas, as directed by the SC. A total of 390 MHz was opened for auction as against the 473.6 MHz.

The government claimed all stakeholders, which moved the court over the partial auction, were aware about TRAI’s recommendation to auction 390 MHz band. It said several operators were already in the process of winding up their business.

“Realisation of optimal revenue by the government in public interest requires a judicious decision on the balance between demand and supply of spectrum in the auction process,” the government stated.


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