2G spectrum: Ministerial panel sticks to one-time fee on bandwidth above 4.4 MHz


New Delhi : The empowered group of ministers on Thursday decided to stick to the 4.4 MHz threshold for charging telecom firms the one-time fee. The ministerial group also decided that the fee will be charged prospectively.

The decision comes a day after Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati said 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. This recommendation was ignored by the EGoM, which decided earlier this month to set the threshold at 4.4 MHz.

The final decision on the matter will be taken by the cabinet.

The EGoM’s recommendations, if followed, would fetch the government exchequer Rs. 23,000 crore during the auction of 2G spectrum, which takes place in November. The base price of the auction has been set at Rs. 14,000 crore.

The 4.4 MHz limit applies only to GSM service providers; the threshold for companies that use the CDMA platform has been set at 2.5 MHz.



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