CAG tenders business advice to Antrix

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New Delhi, Oct 26 (UNI) While the country is going gaga over Chandrayaan-1, the big leap to the moon, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India has tendered a sane business advice to Antrix, the commercial arm of the Department of Space (DOS), to have a firm foot on the ground, by devising suitable ways and formulating guidelines and procedures for all aspects of its operations.

The distinction between Antrix, the 15-year-old company and the DOS has been ambiguous since offices of DOS were also executives of the company and proper delegation of powers consistent with good governance structure has not been drawn up.

The company's interest earnings averaged around 50 per cent of the profit after tax during 2002-03 to 2006-07 which suggests that the company was being used as a special purpose vehicle for making use of unutilised funds of DOS.

Antrix, despite having substantial cash balances, has not developed proper procedures to increase its yield from surplus cash retained by it.

The CAG, in its review of activities of selected Public Sector Undertakings presented to Parliament, observed that Antrix had credited the DOS share of revenue to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) instead of Consolidated Fund of India.

Remittances were not prompt even though the money was shown as accrued to DOS in the accounts.

Several commercial contracts from Prasar Bharati, New Sky Satellites, the Netherlands and INTELSAT were not entrusted to the company. Absence of deemed supply clause in 16 contracts led to the loss of revenue of Rs 27.45 crore, the CAG observed.

The CAG haas also observed that the company had extended undue benefits to Space TV of Tata Sky by reducing the rates originally accepted by customer while entering into the agreement.

The Service Tax for INSAT operations were collected in respect of foreign hired transponders, resulting in a likely liability of Rs 16.77 crore to the exchequer, the report said.

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