New Delhi: The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on telecom, headed by Home Minister P Chidambaram, on Tuesday deferred a decision on one-time spectrum fee on existing telecom operators till the outcome of Presidential Reference.
"All the issues were placed before the EGoM and the EGoM decided that we will wait for the outcome of Presidential Reference and then decide on these issues," Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters in New Delhi.
In April, the government had filed a Presidential Reference in the Supreme Court to understand the impact of apex court's judgement that cancelled 122 telecom licences.
Sibal added that EGoM would now move a comprehensive note to the Cabinet with rest of the decisions that they had taken in earlier meetings.
"We are now moving to Cabinet with a comprehensive note with reference to all the decisions that we have taken so far," Sibal said.
According to sources, EGoM is learnt to have suggested setting a 20 per cent lower base or bid start price compared to over Rs 18,000 crore recommended by sector regulator TRAI at around Rs 14,111- Rs 15,111 crore for the proposed spectrum auction.
On July 3, the Cabinet referred the one-time spectrum fee issue to the EGoM to get its view on the matter and the same was discussed at the meeting on Tuesday.
In order to create a level-playing field between old and new operators, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has proposed a one-time charge on existing operators, whose licences were not cancelled by the Supreme Court, for spectrum held by them.
According to the proposal, operators have to match the price that is arrived at the upcoming spectrum auction.