Ministerial panel okays 4.4MHz threshold for one-time fee news
19 October 2012

The empowered group of ministers today decided to go with the 4.4 MHz threshold for charging telecom firms the one-time fee, with the group also deciding that the fee would be charged prospectively.

The decision comes a day following attorney general GE Vahanvati saying that he would not give his opinion again on the recommendations by the ministerial panel to levy one-time fee on all spectrum above 4.4MHz.

The attorney general had recommended that the one-time fee be levied retrospectively on spectrum above 6.2 MHz which was ignored by the EGoM, which decided earlier this month to set the threshold at 4.4 MHz.

The final decision on the threshold for the one-time fee would be taken by the cabinet.

The cabinet took no decision on refarming of the 900 MHz spectrum at the meeting. The telecom commission had earlier in the week recommended refarming of all spectrum in the 900 MHz band when the licences came up for renewal, which meant that holders of the bandwidth would need to participate in a fresh auction to retain the spectrum. The refarming was to be discussed by the panel today.

If the EGoM's recommendations were to be followed they would fetch the government exchequer Rs23,000 crore during the auction of 2G spectrum, which would take place in November, and for which the base price had been set at Rs14,000 crore.

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Ministerial panel okays 4.4MHz threshold for one-time fee