Telecom Lead India: The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) is likely to meet on October 8 to take crucial decisions on Indian telecom sector.
The panel of ministers, headed by finance minister P Chidambaram, will decided whether all operators need to match the upcoming spectrum auction-determined price for all the airwaves they currently hold or only select GSM providers such Bharti, Idea Cellular and Vodafone among others.
If EGoM meeting on Monday decides to accept recommendations of attorney general Goolam Essaji Vahanvati, it will force GSM mobile phone companies to jointly cough up around Rs 35,000 crore for all the excess airwaves they hold beyond the 6.2 MHz limit retrospectively from July 2008, Economic Times reported.
The attorney general had opposed the department of telecommunications’ plans to make it compulsory for all operators to match the upcoming auction-determined price for all the airwaves they currently hold.
According to the DoT, there are three options: to impose a one-time fee prospectively on all airwaves held by existing telcos; to levy this fee on airwaves held beyond the start-up spectrum of 4.4 MHz; or to levy this fee on airwaves held beyond the contracted spectrum of 6.2 MHz.
The first option will fetch the government about Rs 72,792 crore, while charging for airwaves beyond 4.4 MHz at the upcoming auction determined price will bring in over Rs 50,000 crore and charging incumbents for excess airwaves prospectively would enable the government to earn about Rs 22,640 crore.
Existing telecom operators were allocated spectrum along with pan-India licences at Rs 1,658 crore only, while new telecom operators will have to pay a minimum of Rs 14,000 crore for spectrum to operate across country.