Fri, 06 Jul 2012 16:41:57 GMT | By IANS

Chidambaram expected to head EGoM on spectrum

New Delhi: Home Minister P. Chidambaram could head the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on telecom which has been tasked to take crucial decisions on issues related to the 2G spectrum auction.

Chidambaram expected to head EGoM on spectrum

Official sources here said the EGoM, reconstituted after Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar opted out, will have Communications Minister Kapil Sibal, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Law Minister Salman Khurshid, and Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office V. Narayanasamy as members.

The ministerial group will decide only on the auction modalities and the final decision on the reserve price of the spectrum will be taken by the cabinet, the sources said, though no date has been fixed for the EGoM meeting.

Earlier this week, the cabinet could not decide on a proposal to charge a one-time, auction-determined fee for all airwaves held by existing operators and referred it to the EGoM.

The Supreme Court Feb 2 ordered cancellation of 122 licences issued in 2008 and asked the telecom department to redistribute these through an auction process. The current deadline for the autions as stated by the apex court is Aug 31, but looking at the prevailing scenario, the industry and analysts are apprehensive about the government holding the auction in time.

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