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Delay in notifying rules for private satellite launching cos puts Industry Dept in a fix

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on January 12, 2018

DIPP asks the Department of Space to speed up work on the guidelines

Faced with queries from foreign governments and industry bodies, especially American and Russian, on the long delay in notifying guidelines for private satellite launching companies, the Industry Department has asked the Department of Space to expedite work in the area.

Talks are already on

“The government enhanced the FDI limit in satellite establishment and operation from 74 per cent to 100 per cent in 2015 through the government approval route. But, it is yet to notify the detailed guidelines to bring clarity in the policy regime,” a government official told BusinessLine.

In a recent meeting between senior officials from both the departments, the DIPP pointed out that since the government had decided to allow private companies, including foreign ones, to get into launching of satellites, barring entry by not publishing the required guidelines was putting the country in bad light.

“In many of DIPP’s meetings with foreign industry associations and governments, they repeatedly ask about the pending guidelines in satellite launching. It is embarrassing to have nothing concrete to say. Officials from the Department of Space gave assurance that work was under way and the guidelines would be put up soon,” the official added.

Companies such as India-based Jupiter Satellite India and Aniara Communications are already in talks with American company Hughes Network System and Russia’s Dauria Aerospace, respectively, for developing and launching satellites.

In the absence of guidelines on licensing activities and in areas such as insurance requirement and liability in accident, companies find it risky to invest.

ISRO’s woes

In fact, the Foreign Investment Promotion Board had deferred Jupiter Satellite India’s application for FDI in 2015 because of lack of proper guidelines. In the absence of foreign satellites in the Indian skies, the Indian Space Research Organisation enjoys near-monopoly in the area.

However, it does not have the capacity to fulfil total commercial demands and often capacity on foreign satellites has to be leased to meet demand from the Indian industry.

Published on June 04, 2017

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