BJP, Left parties seek details on Antrix, Devas Multimedia deal

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 07, 2011 Published on February 07, 2011

In response to a report in Business Line and The Hindu on a contract that was concluded between ISRO arm Antrix and private company, Devas Multimedia, the main Opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Left on Monday asked the Government to come clean on the matter.

A preliminary report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General estimates that spectrum largesse to a private customer could have caused the exchequer a loss in excess of Rs 2 lakh crore.

The Congress party, however, refused to comment on the merit of the case saying it was for Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to examine any matter that causes a loss to the exchequer.

“There is a standard procedure. Whenever the CAG finds something that has caused loss to the government, it automatically goes to the PAC. I hope this matter also goes to the PAC,” said the Congress spokesman, Mr Shakeel Ahmed.

Senior leader and Member of Parliament of the BJP, Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad, told Business Line that since the Department of Space came directly under the Prime Minister and the CAG has expressed infirmity, there should be a structured response from the Government.

“This is all the more important because the matter concerns Defence establishments and also the involvement of certain officers who were involved with the Defence establishment and are subsequently promoting cause of private sector. We are waiting for the Government response,” he said, indicating that the Party will raise the issue in Parliament.

Issue ‘serious'

Terming the issue a “serious matter” as it was related to “ISRO and spectrum,” the CPI, Member of Parliament, Mr D. Raja, felt that the Prime Minister will have to explain as the Department was directly under him. “This is not a small issue. We are waiting for the PM's reaction…… whether he was aware of it or not,” he added.

“It is absolutely outrageous and unexplicable. Immediate action has to be taken and the deal should be cancelled,” said the CPI (M), Member of Parliament, Ms Brinda Karat.

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Published on February 07, 2011
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