Ravi Shankar Prasad to take stock of spectrum trading norms tomorrow
Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has called a meeting of DoT officials tomorrow to discuss a taxation issue related to proposed spectrum trading guidelines.
The government, last month, approved spectrum sharing norms but there was no decision on trading of radio waves, a pre-requisite for consolidation in the sector. According to sources, Prasad will deliberate on the taxation matter with officials. The Law Ministry is believed to have raised the issue, which will be addressed by the DoT.
After the matter is resolved, it will be sent to the Cabinet for final approval. In a bid to ease telecom congestion, the government on August 12, allowed companies to share airwaves in the same band so as to reduce call drops, but did not allow leasing of spectrum. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had reiterated its stand on most of the recommendations on spectrum-sharing and trading guidelines, while clarifying that radiowaves acquired through trading can also be shared.
The DoT in April had sought clarifications from TRAI regarding spectrum-sharing and trading guidelines. At present, operators can get spectrum through auction route only. Spectrum trading would allow operators to trade their un-utilised spectrum which would result in efficient use of scarce radio waves and quality services to consumers.