Govt gets Rs 32,434 cr in spectrum sale upfront payment, misses target
Government realised Rs 32,434.10 crore in upfront payment for the spectrum sold in the auction this year, which was lower than Telecom Department’s projection of Rs 34,586 crore.
“For 2016-17, DoT estimated Rs 34,586 crore from spectrum auction which was raised by Finance Ministry to Rs 63,580.92 crore. Against DoT projection of Rs 34,586 crore, Rs 32,434.10 crore has been collected as upfront payment from 2016 auction,” Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
The total revenue anticipated from airwaves auction is based on the reserve price of each band of spectrum in each licenced service area put to auction, fixed by the Government on the recommendation of TRAI, the minister said.
However, budgetary target projection by DoT can be taken as the revenue target from spectrum auction.
Total revenue government raised from the sale of airwaves in 2016 is Rs 65,789.12 crore, the Minister added.
“Spectrum shortage cannot be the reason for call drop after recent spectrum auction. Call drop is an international phenomenon and cannot be eliminated completely,” the Minister said.
Stating that no bid was received in any of the 22 LSAs in 700 Mhz band, the Minister said, “Absence of ecosystem in 700 Mhz band including the non-availability of devices together with industry perception of high reserve price appear to be the main reason for no bids in 700 Mhz band.”
In addition, companies appeared to be preserving cash to protect marketshare in the days to come, he added.
Earlier, government had missed revenue projection in 2011-12 and 2012-13. Net receipts were nil in 2011-12 against a projection of Rs 13,000 crore as spectrum auction could not be conducted that year.
In 2012-13, no revenue was realised from spectrum sale due to non-receipt of bids for airwaves in 800 Mhz band. Further rounds of auction were held in March 2013 but no bids were received for two spectrum band in 1800 Mhz and 900 Mhz.