January 13, 2009 / 2:02 PM / 11 years ago

India ministry preparing submission on 3G auction

NEW DELHI, Jan 13 (Reuters) - India’s telecoms ministry plans to send its final submission on an auction of 3G spectrum to the cabinet later this week, after which auction dates and revised base prices can be set, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

The global auctions of 3G and broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum were scheduled to start from Jan. 30, but the ministry said on Monday it would announce a revised schedule.

“Inter-departmental discussions are still going on,” said Akshay Rout, spokesman for the telecoms ministry.

“The new date will be decided after the CCEA (cabinet committee) takes a decision and considers the whole issue.”

The telecoms ministry had set a reserve price of 20.20 billion rupees ($410 million) for pan-India 3G spectrum.

The telecoms minister had said he expected bids at much higher levels and expected revenue generation of up to 400 billion rupees.

But the finance ministry has said it wanted the reserve price to be doubled, a move analysts said reflected valuations placed on stake sales of some telecom firms and also to ensure the government’s revenue target from the auctions despite a global downturn. ($1=49.1 rupees) (Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by John Mair)

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