Embroiled in a controversy over distributing spectrum cheap, the government may ask the new telecom operators to pay an additional amount, over and above the Rs 1,651 crore they have already paid as licence fee. According to sources in the government, cancellation of licences, as recommended by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) over roll-out obligation, was not a viable solution. CAG had separately raised questions on the pricing of 2G spectrum.

If the public exchequer has lost due to under-pricing of the spectrum, there should be ways to compensate it, sources said.

The Telecom Ministry, in 2008, had distributed 122 licences to new operators besides about 34 dual technology licences and gave away start-up 2G spectrum at Rs 1,651 crore for pan-India operations.

The government auditor CAG has quantified the loss to the exchequer at Rs 1.

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