A unit of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has slammed the recent spectrum auctions, saying that the auctions failed as private telecom operators acted in a cartel.
“In view of the apparent cartelisation by the telecom service providers, the DoT has not been able to fruitfully utilize the remaining 453.50 MHz spectrum available in the 1800 MHz band,” said RB Sinha, director general of audit post and telecommunications, a unit of CAG.
Based on TRAI’s own estimate, these spectrum have the value of Rs 85014.18 crore.
The government has held two rounds of auction in the last seven months. In November 2012, the government could raise only Rs 9,407 crore against the anticipated Rs 45,000 crore if the companies had bought all the spectrum at the reserve price set.
In the March auction, only MTS bought CDMA spectrum for Rs 3,700 crore for eight circles.
“Even assuming conservatively, in view of the unprecedented growth of the telecom sector and stiff competition, the country appears to have lost significant revenues due to idle/non-utilisation of the available spectrum,” said the letter.