AP File Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.
Dull Response to 2G Auction on Opening Day
The government today received bids worth Rs 9,224.75 crore on the opening day of auction for 2G mobile phone spectrum that drew scant interest due to high base price.

There was no bidder for pan-India airwaves for which the government had set a base or bid start price of Rs 14,000 crore. Demand was concentrated in select circles like Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh (East) and Uttar Pradesh (West).

Of the 22 telecom circles, which cover the entire nation, bids were received for 18, with Delhi, Mumbai, Rajasthan and Karnataka which had the highest base price drawing a blank.

"Seven rounds of auction completed today. Auction incomplete and will continue on Wednesday. 98 blocks committed as against 176 blocks offered," Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar said.

The bids received for the airwaves amounted to Rs 9,224.75 crore at the end of last round of auction for the day.

In the seventh round, there was no bids received for spectrum in UP (W) and Gujarat circle as well.

COAI General Secretary R S Mathews said, "The limited amount of spectrum, contrary in our opinion to the SC ruling, was guaranteed to have a very detrimental impact on the auction."

"We said that the high reserve price would ensure that limited players come into the bid and that is exactly what we have seen," he said, adding COAI had rightly predicted no bidders for several circles.

The auction, he said, would not last more than two days.

In the seventh round less demand for spectrum was seen in most of the circles, except in Bihar where bids were received for all 8 blocks put up for auction.

The last round of the day saw demand for 7 blocks in Assam, 6 blocks each in Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha,West Bengal and North East.

Maharashtra telecom service area received bid for 5 blocks. Andhra Pradesh, Kolkata and Tamil Nadu circle received bids for half of the 8 blocks of spectrum available for bidding.

Uttar Pradesh (E), Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Punjab received bids for only one block. Earlier demand was seen for 10 blocks in UP (W), 9 blocks in UP (E) 7 blocks in Assam.

Telecom experts are of the view that the auction price may not meet revenue target set by government and even adversely impact revenue target of Rs 31,000 crore set by it from one-time spectrum for excess spectrum held by telecom operators.

"The government may have to face issues regarding market discovery of price regarding excess spectrum that operators hold specially in circles where there were no bids and issues regarding the governments overall revenue generation target wherein there is a large gap to bridge," Protiviti Consulting's Country Managing Director Mritunjay Kapur said.
Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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Digression

6/D-116
Nov 13, 2012
10:31 PM

 One possible explanation for the flop is that govt wanted a flop. The current exercise is being carried out simply because the SC wanted it. The govt had no heart in it. And this is govt's way of showing the middle finger to the SC.

Manmohan Singh is quite capable of doing this. The more I think about it, the more I think the flop is by design.

Rakhal, Philadelphia
5/D-113
Nov 13, 2012
10:02 PM

The wily fox Kapil Sibal has done it for the Congress, but screwed it for the country. 

When you price 800 MHz at 30% higher than 1,800 MHz spectrum, and limit the auction to only select circles, you are clearly headed for disaster. Was Sibal and gang trying to prove that the figure of $1.76 lakh crores were grossly incorrect? The number is firmly etched in public memory, whatever be the outcome. Now, wait till the paucity of revenues makes the fiscal deficit worse.

The Irreverent Indian
Online, India
4/D-81
Nov 13, 2012
02:56 PM

Where is the CAG's accountability for pulling numbers out of his hat? His sole job seems to be to determine how many zeroes to add to the flight of fancy reports his department churns out

Shubhang, Delhi
3/D-40
Nov 13, 2012
08:24 AM

 Oh please wait, Vinod Rai's papa is coming with a 1 lakh crore bid!

abrams, Mumbai
2/D-12
Nov 13, 2012
01:24 AM

 The govt estimated 40000 crores and is going to get a lot less. They are not able to get a single estimate correctly. They screw up on the job numbers, inflation, growth rate etc etc. Govt projection is almost always wrong.

And yet I am amazed to see people believe in claims about FDI in retail-that so many lakh job will be created. The govt projection figures alone should give one a pause.

Rakhal, Philadelphia
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