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Purpose to allow market dynamics to play itself out:Sibal on 2G auction

Posted on Nov 15, 06:20PM | UNI

Defending the lukewarm response to auction of 2G Spectrum, which fetched bids of less than Rs 10000 crore, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal has said the purpose (of the auction) was to allow the market dynamics to play itself out, not to score points.

"Our point always was that market dynamics should be allowed to play out. The moment you start dealing with market directly or indirectly then it will be bad.

We are not here to score points,"Mr Sibal told reporters here last night after the auction of 2G Spectrum came to an end.

The auction for 2G Spectrum auction, which ended here last evening, fetched just Rs 9,407 crore of bids.

The tepid response to the 2G auction, which began on November 12, is in sharp contrast to that for the auction of 3G spectrum in 2010 that got Rs 67,719 crore in bids.

In an apparent dig at the observation by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), who had in 2010 said former Telecom Minister Raja's decision to give away spectrum at rates fixed in 2001 had caused a presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer taking the price garnered in the 3G auction as the benchmark, Mr Sibal said,"The facts are before the Nation and quite clear.

Going by the 3G auction price, the current sale should have fetched Rs 1 lakh crore but what we have got is Rs 9,407 crore. So this is a market and that is how it plays itself out." The government had fixed the base for 2G bids at a rate almost equivalent to the third-generation (3G) auction price.