Economy

Antrix-Devas S-band deal: All eyes now on panel report

Our Bureau Bangalore | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on March 09, 2011

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A month to this day since the two-member high-powered review committee on the Antrix-Devas Multimedia contract was formed by the Prime Minister's Office, the attention is now on what the panel has to say about the issue.

Informed sources said the committee was due to finalise and submit the report by March 9 or 10. One of the panel members declined to confirm this, saying the report was meant for the PMO.

On February 9, the PMO had appointed Planning Commission member, Mr B.K. Chaturvedi, and Space Commission member and aerospace scientist, Dr Roddam Narasimha, and given them a month's time to look into any irregularities in the contract.

The contract between ISRO's arm Antrix Corporation and Devas Multimedia Private Ltd was signed on January 2005, but the Centre annulled it amidst controversy over its procedural, financial aspects and the access to the S-band spectrum to the private company.

The panel was mandated to review the technical, commercial, procedural and financial aspects of the agreement; whether procedures and approval processes were followed by Antrix and the Department of Space; and to suggest improvements and changes.

According to the agreement, ISRO was to build and launch two successive S-band communications satellites for commercial multi-media services by Devas.

The Centre annulled the deal last month saying it was heavily tilted in favour of the private company and also said it would keep the precious S-band spectrum for Government and security agencies.

The issue has also come under the scanner of the CAG.

Published on March 09, 2011
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