Finance minister says 3G auction must take place before year’s end

22 Oct 2009

India’s finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee, has called on Andimuthu Raja, the communications minister, to ensure that the long-delayed auction of 3G services takes place before the end of this calendar year, according to the Business Standard. In a letter to Mr Raja, the finance minister claimed that any further delay in conducting the sale process could prejudice national interest and send mixed signals to potential investors. The plea follows the revelation last month that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) was considering delaying the auctions once more, this time to June 2010, amid claims that the defence forces were unlikely to vacate spectrum bands needed for the sale, despite promises to do so. It is understood that in response to the letter Mr Raja has asked Mr Mukherjee to meet with the defence minister with a view to finally resolving the outstanding spectrum issues.