NEW DELHI (TIP): Government appears on course to reap a record windfall from spectrum sale as bids reached Rs 1.02 lakh crore mark on Thursday, a shade lower than the Rs 1.06 lakh crore raised during the 2010 auctions.

And, there is good news for states too which will get Rs 1.86 lakh crore from 33 of the 40 coal blocks where auctions closed on Thursday. The fate of the remaining seven blocks depends on court rulings.

Incidentally, the amount raised through the bidding process matches the loss estimated by CAG by the award of 204 blocks without auctions. In addition, the states with the coal blocks will get another Rs 26,558 crore through royalty, taking the total mop-up from this round to Rs 2.13 lakh crore.

Unlike the coal auctions, the spectrum auction will continue. But the government is upbeat at the outcome. “It is a matter of great assurance for us to know that the bid amount crossed Rs 1 lakh crore mark today, and closed at Rs 1,02,000 crore,” telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. “The bidding shows the trust and optimism in the new government’s ability and potential to take fair decisions and the inherent potential which the telecom segment holds out for future growth.”

So far, over 86% of the spectrum has been provisionally allocated to bidders after the end of 49 rounds, according to the department of telecom. “There is aggressive bidding going on in all bands — 2100 MHz, 1800 MHz, 900 MHz and 800 MHz bands… Majority of service areas are going at a premium over reserve price. The competitive bidding is expected to continue. There is still spectrum, which is yet to be sold,” Prasad said.

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