Chennai: The 2G auction should fetch a "reasonable market price" for the spectrum, Minister of State for IT and Telecommunications Sachin Pilot on Monday said.
"Spectrum as a natural resources is the property of people of India. We must through the auctions, get reasonable market price for that commodity", he said told reporters here.
Pilot added that the reconstituted empowered group of ministers (EGoM), headed by Home Minister P Chidambaram, would meet soon to deliberate the issue of allocation of spectrum.
On April 23, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had recommended a base price of Rs 3,622 crore for a megahertz of spectrum at pan-India level which is around 10 times higher than the price for 2G licences in 2008 when A Raja was the Telecom Minister.
According to Trai recommendations, a minimum of 5 Mhz should be allotted which would mean that a pan-India spectrum in 1800 MHz band will cost Rs 18,000 crore. The reserve price is five times the base price of Rs 3,500 crore for 3G auction.
However, telecom operators have been opposing the TRAI recommendations, saying that it will hurt investment in the sector further and expansion of the industry in rural areas.
Pilot, who was speaking to reporters after inaugurating the new Research and Development facility of digital switch equipment manufacturer Alcatel Lucent, also favoured safeguarding interests of the consumers.
"We must look at the people that they get best possible services at best cost factors. Today we have some of the cheapest call rates in the world. But consumer interest must be safeguarded at any cost", he said.