India to sell phone airwaves worth 200 billion rupees

NEW DELHI Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:54pm IST

Sun rises over the telecommunication towers in New Delhi December 22, 2007. REUTERS/B Mathur/Files

Sun rises over the telecommunication towers in New Delhi December 22, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/B Mathur/Files

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The value of telecom airwaves to be put on auction in India in this fiscal year ending March will be worth about 200 billion rupees at the current reserve price, R. Chandrashekhar, telecoms department secretary, said on Friday.

India is betting on the revenue from phone airwaves auctions and stake sales in state-run companies to plug its widening fiscal deficit. The government raised less than a quarter of its 400 billion rupee target in last month's auction.

The government aims to conduct the next auction during the current fiscal year. It also plans to sell 900 megahertz band airwaves in a separate but simultaneous auction.

In the last month's auction, the government managed to get bids for parts of the airwaves it had put on block. (Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Jijo Jacob)

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