The much-talked about 2G mobile phone spectrum auction on Wednesday
virtually flopped with just Rs. 9,407 crore being garnered in the process
contrary to the high valuation estimated by the CAG in its damning
report of the government two years ago.
The auction, which lasted just
two days, got total bids worth Rs. 9,407.64 crore, Telecom Minister
Kapil Sibal told reporters at the end of the bidding, which was a far
cry from the 35-day bidding for the 3G spectrum in 2010 that got Rs.
The government was targetting a minimum of Rs. 28,000
crore from the sale of 2G spectrum in the GSM band and the tepid
response may upset its efforts to meet the revised fiscal deficit target
of 5.3 percent of GDP. Overall, the government had budget Rs. 40,000
crore as revenue from spectrum sale this fiscal.
Sibal refused to
comment on the CAG's estimation of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore as the loss to the
exchequer in giving away spectrum on first-come-first-serve basis in
In an apparent dig at the CAG, he merely said, "the facts are before the nation and quite clear."
by the 3G auction price, the current sale should have fetched Rs. 1 lakh
crore but "what we have got is Rs. 9,407 crore... so this is a market
and that is how it plays itself out."
None of the five companies
bidding for the spectrum made any offer for pan-India airwaves for which
the reserve price was set at Rs. 14,000 crore, a rate considered high by
Sibal said in all 101 out of the 144 blocks of spectrum on offer got bids.
cities of Delhi and Mumbai, which accounted for 40 percent of the base
price of Rs. 14,000 crore for 5MHz of 2G spectrum, drew no bids.