The meeting of a ministerial panel, headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, to discuss new schedule for spectrum auction has been postponed to Tuesday.
The Empowered Group of Ministers meeting was scheduled for Monday but was deferred due to the delay of Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal's flight from Chandigarh where he went to lay the foundation stone of incubation centre for Software Technology Parks of India, sources said.
"The meet has been deferred to Tuesday morning," a senior government official told PTI. The panel was to discuss new time-line for auction of airwaves that was to be prepared in consultation with the auctioneer-agency selected to operate auction process.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is learnt to have finalised Gurgaon-based Times Internet as auctioneer to conduct auction of around 13.75 Mhz of spectrum in 1800 Mhz band and 3.75 Mhz in 800 Mhz band.
The Cabinet has finalised Rs 14,000 crore for 5 Mhz spectrum in 1800 Mhz band and Rs 18,200 crore for 5 Mhz spectrum in 800 Mhz band as minimum price. The next step for the DoT will be to issue Information Memorandum (IM) which is final document that will carry complete details on auction of spectrum.
As per the last schedule, the DoT had plans to issue IM on August 27, just four days before August 31 deadline set by the Supreme Court to complete the process. The government will thus have only four days to complete 13 processes before actual bidding for airwaves starts, assuming that August 31 remains the final date.
The steps include responding to queries of potential bidders, inviting applications and giving time to companies for submissions, finalising eligible bidders, public information sessions and mock auction.