The Cabinet on Tuesday referred to an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) the proposal to levy a one-time, auction-determined fee
for all airwaves held by existing telecom operators.
The Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh decided to refer the issue to EGoM after the move was opposed by Finance Ministry, Planning Commission and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.
The EGoM on spectrum auction was previously headed by the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee but after his resignation as a Union minister to contest Presidential elections, the chairmanship of the panel was handed over to Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.Pawar too has recused himself
from the panel and no new head has yet been announced.
Sources said the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had made three proposals to the Cabinet - levy one-time fee on all airwaves held by existing telecom companies; to impose a fee on airwaves held beyond the start-up spectrum
of 4.4 MHz; or to levy a fee on airwaves held beyond the contracted spectrum of 6.2 MHz.
DoT wants existing telecom operators to pay one-time auction-determined price for all spectrum they currently hold so as to create a level playing field between the new entrants and the incumbents.