Antrix-Devas deal under review, says Dept of Space

Our Bureau Bangalore | Updated on November 22, 2017 Published on February 07, 2011

'Antariksh Bhavan', Department of Space and ISRO Headquarters in Bangalore. -- K. Murali kumar.   -  The Hindu

The Department of Space (DoS) on Monday said it was reviewing the Antrix Corporation-Devas Multimedia contract and would take a decision on it soon.

It would take all steps to safeguard public interest, a late-night statement on the ISRO Web site said.

In a portent of things to come, informed sources told Business Line that the agreement was likely to be cancelled.

The DoS said it was responding to February 7 reports in Business Line and The Hindu that the contract was being questioned by the Comptroller & Auditor General.

In a preliminary audit, as the two dailies had reported, the CAG had estimated that the preferential use of S-band spectrum by Devas on two ISRO satellites could mean a potential loss of more than Rs 2 lakh crore to the exchequer. The DoS said it was also replying to the queries raised by the CAG.

In response, the DoS statement said, “The Department of Space has seen the news item in The Hindu of February 7, 2011 titled ‘CAG goes after another spectrum deal'.

“The Comptroller and Auditor General has already clarified in a statement issued today that the audit of the Department of Space is under way and that only preliminary queries have been raised on the matter.

“These will be replied to by the Department of Space. However, the Department wishes to clarify that the Agreement entered into by Antrix, the commercial arm of ISRO, and M/s. Devas on January 28, 2005 is already under review by the Department of Space and the Government will take whatever steps are necessary to safeguard public interest. A decision on the matter is likely to be taken soon.” According to the agreement, ISRO was to build two consecutive satellites – G-SAT-6 and G-SAT-6A – and launch them for Devas Multimedia for its commercial operations.

Antrix would get some payments for the lease of the transponders on the satellites.

The CAG was looking into the access to precious S-band spectrum that Devas would get along with satellite capacity.

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Published on February 07, 2011
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