Policy is best left to the government, says government on 2G auction: Highlights

New Delhi: Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal and Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tiwari today addressed a press conference on the 2G spectrum auction held recently. Here are the highlights:

  • Upon reflection, ultimately any sector of economy must deliver for people of the country
  • Economy should empower the aam aadmi. In 2001, the growth of telecom sector was a great story for India. Today we have 930 million mobiles. In 2007-08, something happened that started a trend that emasculated the hen that laid the golden egg. Telecom sector is not the same. I have no answers. Certain events took place, there was a level of sensationalism that took over
  • The Government was limited in its policy prescriptions, had to move forward in a certain way. Which is why you saw what happened a few days ago
  • Policy is best left to the government
  • If there is faulty implementation then certainly the courts must intervene
  • Market dynamics change... What happened in 2010 may not happen now
  • In 3G, the government got the revenue, the consumer got nothing
  • If we had stuck to TRAI recommendations, it would have been worse
  • We're not sure under what rule any motion/debate will be initiated. Let them formally tell us. As far as Arun Jaitley is concerned, we're not celebrating anything
  • We have not been able to take the sector forward because of policy constraints. We are certainly not celebrating
  • We have not criticised any institution. We spoke on an environment created through sensationalism
  • We did reduce the price - we were criticised for it... once a licence is given for 20 years and there is huge profitability, we will be told you sold the licence for a song... prosecute the minister
  • We have to ensure that there is auction, before May 2013, this is the TRAI recommendations. Dynamics of market can't be judged by anybody, not even us. Even though there is demand, markets may not be liquid to invest. Must be left to the government
  • The auction process is incomplete. There are four more GSM circles, CDMA, reframing... there will be more auctions before March
  • Balance yet to be auctioned comes to 62,000 crores. So even half of it would peg the figure at Rs 25,000-27,000 crores
  • Since the UPA II government was formed, there have been no two months without talk of mid-term polls. As far as the government is concerned, we have mandate for five years and we intend to look at elections in 2014