Cabinet passes on the 2G pricing ball to EGoM

In yet, much confusion has been made over the 2G spectrum pricing. It has added more while yesterday after opposing by the Finance Ministry, the CCEA’s pass the proposal from the Department of Telecom (DoT) to the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM). matter on to the EGoM.

However, it is good for Telecom companies that there will be a plan to levy a one-time fee on them for holding second generation (2G) spectrum.

In yesterday meeting, there is no outcome has been made by Cabinet regarding whether fresh and high prices should be charged by existing telecom operators or not, while it referred the auction determined fee for the all airwaves mobile phone companies to EGoM.

The matter came in much destructive mode while the DoT had moved a cabinet note to levy the fees on existing telecom operators, at a price based on upcoming auction rates but the finance ministry opposed the telecom ministry‘s proposal saying the levy would be a breach of contract, source said.

Major reason is that by the proposed levy would raise the tariff prices.

Interesting fact is that still there is no head of the EGoM after resigning by Pranab Mukherjee from the post of Finance Minister. Even Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had to designated as EGoM’s head, but just within one day he also resigned the panel.

According to media reports, there were three options that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is likely to put in front of cabinet on 2G spectrum auction. These are –to levy one time fee on all airwaves held by existing telecom companies; to impose a fee on airwaves held beyond the start-up spectrum of 4.4 MHz; or beyond the contracted spectrum of 6.2 MHz.

While some media information suggested that the government may be escaping from its responsibility or waiting for the Presidential Reference’s direction based over Supreme Court’s decision on the 2G spectrum.

Moreover, now matter is that whether the over all controversial 2G spectrum row has been ended before the August 31 deadline, however the EGoM which has no head, is currently deciding the base price for 2G spectrum auctions.

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