Final document for spectrum auction on Aug 22
Information memorandum was previously to be issued on August 6
The government is likely to issue the final document for auction of telecom spectrum on August 22, two weeks later than previously scheduled.
An Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) headed by Home Minister P Chidambaram is believed to have on July 12 approved the new date of August 22 for issue of Information Memorandum (IM), government sources said.
IM was previously to be issued on August 6.
The new schedule is largely due to delay in finalising the pricing of spectrum or airwaves.
Sources said the EGoM may meet next on July 18 to discuss key issue of spectrum price as the new schedule is linked to finalisation of auctioneer, the agency which will operate the auction process.
As per the new schedule, auctioneers have been asked to submit bids by July 20 and which can be only after government finalises minimum spectrum price from which the auction of airwaves will start.
The government is already running against time to meet the August 31 deadline set by the Supreme Court for auction of spectrum vacated from cancellation of 122 licences issued in 2008.
The 20-day delay in finalising auction details has put government on the brink of uncertainty in spectrum auction.
The government will have only nine days left for 13 processes that will have to be completed before actual bidding for airwaves starts.
This includes important steps of responding to queries of the potential bidders, notice for inviting applications and time for its submission by companies, finalising eligible bidders, public information session, mock auction among others.
The time taken for auction of airwaves for 3G and wireless broadband services was cumulatively 50 days. The 3G auction was completed in 34 days after completion of 183 rounds of bidding while BWA auction took 16 days to end after 117 rounds of bidding.
In the upcoming auction, potential auctioneers will get only three days to make presentation on the model that they will use for conducting e-auction after the declaration of eligible auctioneers on July 20.
The auctioneer will be finalised on July 26 for which the earlier proposed date was July 10.