Finance and I&B minister, Arun Jaitley, has given his go ahead to allow partial auctions of leftover frequencies from Phase II. We had reported this development last week and news has come over the weekend that he has indeed passed the resolution, which is now awaiting cabinet approval.
Govt to announce 'partial auctions' for Phase III this week
“The government has made a very wise move and we are pleased with the pace at with which things are now moving,” said Uday Chawla, Secretary General of Association of Radio Operators of India (AROI). The auction of Phase II remnant frequencies is important as it will help in setting the migration fees for Phase II license according to the TRAI formula.
“We are happy that Mr Jaitley has risen to the occasion and allowed FM radio migrations and partial auctions to commence which will allow India to earn in excess of Rs 1,800 crore this fiscal itself. The industry will see buoyancy as regards to investment like never before,” opined Vineet Singh Hukmani, MD & CEO of Radio One.
Hitesh Sharma, Executive President of ENIL, which operates Radio Mirchi, also welcomed the news, though he said that it was still early and more details were awaited. Ideally, if the government wants to stick to its plan of completing the auctions before licenses start expiring by March 31, 2015, it will need to ensure the auctions happen latest by January. In that case, we can expect an official announcement in the coming weeks.