(by Preethi J & Nikhil Pahwa) The Indian Government is banking heavily on "higher receipts from telecommunication sectore vide 3G auction" to shore up its receipts, given a budget that appears to be focused on expenditure. However, the Finance Minister did not mention a base price for 3G Auctions, nor did he specify disinvestment plans. There wasn't much for the Telecom sector, and no announcement of an outlay towards broadband. However, going through the Budget documents, we came across the statement that a Rs. 28,324 crore ($5.8 Billion) increase in non-tax revenue from Rs.1,11,955 crore to Rs.1,40,279 crore, "primarily on account of anticipated receipts from the telecommunication sector vide auction of 3G spectrum." So proceeds from 3G auctions alone are expected to be less than $5.8 Billion. However, Reuters reports that the government is looking to raise $7.2 Billion from the auctions. Note that MediaNama was unable to locate any suggestion of an exact amount from the budget documents. The highlights of government expenditure for the Telecom and Digital Media sector, from the Budget documents, are as follows: -- Rs. 600 crores for establishing National Knowledge Network. -- Rs. 900 crores for e-Governance programme -- Rs. 550 crores for National Informatics Centre to improve infrastructure. -- Rs. 125 crores for Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) for undertaking R&D. -- Rs. 26 crores for Optical Fibre Cable based Network for Defence Services. -- Rs. 300 crores for C-DOT. -- Rs. 61 crores for Undersea Cabling between Mainland and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. --…
Union Budget 2009: Govt Job Portal, STB Duty-5%, Smart Cards, DAVP Waiver, Disinvestment, Railways
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