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McClatchy-Tribune  02/14/2014 12:01 AM ET
2G spectrum auction ends; govt gets bids worth Rs.61,000 crore [Mint, New Delhi :: ]

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Feb. 14--NEW DELHI -- The second generation, or 2G, spectrum auction ended on Thursday after 68 rounds and over 10 days of bidding with the government getting bids totalling Rs.61,000 crore for airwave slots in the 900MHz and 1,800MHz bands.

The government is expected to receive more than Rs.18,000 crore in the year to 31 March as the companies are allowed to initially pay an upfront amount and the rest in annual instalments. In this case, 25% of the final bid amount has to be paid upfront by successful bidders in the 900 MHz band for airwaves in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, and 33% of the winning bid amount in the 1,800 MHz band across 22 circles.

The total value of bids for the spectrum in the 1,800 MHz band was around Rs.37,500 crore, while for the 900 MHz spectrum it was about Rs.23,000 crore, according to telecom department officials who declined to be identified.

Shares of Bharti Airtel Ltd fell 1.8% to Rs.302.6 on BSE on Wednesday, while the Idea Cellular Ltd stock declined 1.13% to Rs.131.45. Reliance Communications Ltd shed 0.79% to Rs.118.95. The exchange's benchmark Sensex fell 1.25% to 20,193.35 points.

The funds are expected to help the government narrow the fiscal deficit to 4.8% of gross domestic product, a key target for the ruling Congress party-led government. The bids will help the government surpass the Rs.40,000 crore target set at the beginning of the fiscal year in the Union budget, as receivables from telecom, including licence fees, spectrum charge among other payments.


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