The finance ministry has asked the department of telecom to speed up 3G spectrum auction process, so that operators can roll out services as early as possible, and avoid introducing new clauses in the guidelines, which can cause further delays.
“The process to complete auction for 3G spectrum and rolling out of services is already much delayed and needs to be speeded up and completed as early as possible, latest by December 2008,” department of economic affairs secretary Ashok Chawla said in a letter to Telecom Secretary Sidhharth Behura.
The finance ministry has also advised DoT to sort out all the outstanding issues at the earliest and not open fresh issues at this juncture, the letter said.
The finance ministry is irked by the DoT proposal to split 2G and 3G revenues, as it feels this would lead to loss of revenue to the government.
The finance ministry had earlier also expressed its unhappiness when the DoT had fixed a reserve base price of Rs 2,020 for a pan-India 3G licence, saying the value of spectrum was much higher than what the DoT has put in the auction. The finance ministry wanted the minimum base price to be raised to Rs 2,500 crore.