New Delhi: The Empowered Group of Ministers on telecom may meet next week to discuss on crucial issue of spectrum price and related issues for auction which is due before 31 August.
The crucial meeting of EGoM, which was scheduled for on Thursady to decide on spectrum pricing and related issues, had been deferred indefinitely.
Sources had said Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is heading the group, did not want to sit on a judgment on such an important issue as he is entering presidential race.
In February 2012, the Supreme Court cancelled 122 2G telecom licences issued during the tenure of former telecom minister A Raja, and asked the government to complete spectrum auction by 31 August.
"Hopefully Empowered Group of Minister should meet next week," a senior government official said in New Delhi.
The official added that there will be no impact on current schedule of auction if the decision on minimum price of airwaves to be sold is decided by the first week of July.
Now, with just about 70 days left from the 31 August deadline, government is under pressure to expedite the process for spectrum auction.
The last spectrum auction for 3G and wireless broadband services took a total of 50 days to be complete.
The 3G auction was completed in 34 days after completion of 183 rounds of bidding and BWA auction took 16 days to end after 117 rounds of bidding.
The official also said that telecom ministry may circulate final cabinet note on spectrum policy in next week but only after receiving response of all ministries.
"Draft cabinet note has been circulated. After receiving inputs from various ministries, DoT will send final cabinet note... hopefully in next week," the official said.
Telecom ministry has proposed to charge all operators from the date the decision is made. The charges will be levied based on final spectrum price arrived through auction due before 31 August.
Telecom companies like Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communication which started pan-India telecom services late and have more years than incumbent players like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone have opposed the move.
At present, the reference price to fix spectrum price for auction is minimum of Rs 3,622 crore for a unit of airwaves and over Rs 18,000 crore for pan-India operations of new players as recommended by sector regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
This recommendation has been severely criticised by industry saying that it will kill the industry and raise existing telecom tariff in the range of 30 to 100 percent.