Wednesday, 31 July 2013

CVC rejects I&B Minister's request on panel to supervise FM auction

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has turned down a request by Information & Broadcasting Ministry to nominate its representatives on a panel formed to supervise the auction of phase III of FM radio stations.
To pre-empt possible criticism and controversy in the auction of licences for radio stations, the ministry had asked CVC and also the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to name their representatives on a inter-ministerial committee that had been formed to supervise the auction.

Since the auction of radio channels involves allocating spectrum, the I&B ministry has been trying to adopt a cautious approach as the 2G spectrum issue created controversy, sources said.
However, the ministry received a setback as the CVC has written back declining to name any representative while the CAG had not given any reply, officials said.
The Cabinet has already given its assent to the I&B ministry's proposal for conducting ascending e-auction for FM channels, as has been followed by Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for the auction of 3G spectrum.
Following the Cabinet's nod in July 2011, the I&B ministry had formed the inter-ministerial committee to which it wanted to add nominees of the CVC and the CAG.
The committee is chaired by Additional Secretary, I&B ministry and includes representatives from the DoT, Department of IT, Finance and Law ministries in addition to other officials.
The phase III of radio auctions intends to provide coverage of cities with a population of one lakh and above with private FM radio channels.
The government expects to garner nearly Rs 1,500 crore in revenue from the auction of phase III FM radio licence for providing services in 227 cities, in addition to 86 cities covered currently.


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