The biggest challenge that the telecom department is now facing is whether it would be able to meet the August 31 deadline of completing the process of 2G spectrum auction after Pranab Mukherjee, chairman of panel of ministers which was expected to take a decision on spectrum pricing became the presidential candidate.
In the given circumstances DoT is likely to seek the extension of Supreme Court deadline as the first and foremost priority is to find a new chairman and the formation of new panel of ministers. Pranab Mukehrjee who heads the panel of ministers will resign from the government on Tuesday.
The June 21 meeting of the eGoM, which is headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, was postponed indefinitely.
According to reports, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, or home minister P. Chidambaram, may for the time being chair the eGoM meetings.
The new eGoM head will have to take a call on the reserve price of spectrum, which has seen strong lobbying from the industry. In addition to the reserve price, the EGoM was expected to take decisions on spectrum usage charge, rollout obligations, staggered payment for airwaves secured through auctions and whether operators could mortgage airwaves and secure funding from banks.
Then, the telecom ministry is considering taking back only a part of the spectrum allocated to old telecom players and give chance to other operators to buy that at the auction.
This proposal is learnt to be part of an amicable solution which the ministry is offering to the industry and is packaged around spectrum price policy, refarming and minimum price of airwaves that is to be paid in the auction due before August 31.