Empowered Group of Ministers To Seek Extension of August 31 Deadline

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Empowered Group of Ministers To Seek Extension of August 31 DeadlineThe Empowered Group of Ministers on telecom will approach the Supreme Court to seek the extension of August 31 deadline to complete the auction of 2G airwaves and would look at starting the auction process by November.

After cancelling 122 telecom licences in February the Supreme Court had asked the Government to complete the 2G spectrum auction by August 31. It had extended the validity of quashed licences till September 7.

The spectrum auction is crucial for companies such as Sistema Shyam, Uninor and Videocon to win the auction for being able to continue the operations.

Sibal said the Government will file an interim application before the court and request it to consider the facts as stated in the application.

“Auctioneer has given us schedule we will approach the Supreme Court to place before them the fact what the Government has done. Also, place before them that in terms of this schedule, it is not possible to conduct the auction by August 31,” Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said after the Empowered Group of Ministers meet.

The Empowered Group of Ministers, headed by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, discussed the sale at a meeting in New Delhi today.

“As you know, licences have been extended till September 7. So we will go back to the Supreme Court with an interim application and request to consider the fact as stated in the application,” Sibal added.

Last week, the government has set a reserve price of Rs 14,000 crore for the proposed auction of 2G spectrum, which is at the lower end of the band recommended by the group of ministers on telecom and much lower than the price set by telecom regulator.

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