DoT likely to consult Finance Ministry on 2G licence issues

27 Sep 2010

India’s Ministry of Telecommunications has said that any decision regarding allowing yet-to-launch mobile operators to surrender their 2G licences will only be taken after consultation with the Ministry of Finance. According to the Business Standard, the telecoms ministry’s proclamation follows claims that at least two players that received 2G concessions in January 2008, including Swan Telecom, have approached the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) with a view to handing back both their licence and spectrum in return for the entry fee they paid. It is understood that the Telecom Commission, a decision-making body of the Ministry of Telecommunications, would be the first to examine the issue, with the DoT only then likely to approach the Finance Ministry with any proposed resolutions.

Possible solutions that may be considered by the Commission reportedly include allowing new companies to merge with larger operators as well as shortening the three-year lock-in period during which the promoter of a new company is barred from divesting its stake.

India, Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Etisalat DB (formerly Swan Telecom)