ISRO terminating contract with Devas on spectrum

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New Delhi, Feb 8 (PTI) Under attack over an alleged scamin allocation of scarce S-band spectrum, the ISRO todayannounced that it has already initiated the process toterminate the deal with Devas Multimedia and claimed there wasno financial loss to the government on account of this.

However, ISRO chief K Radhakrishnan admitted thatdetails about the 2005 contract under which Devas, floated bya former ISRO official, was to receive rights to 90 per centusage of transponders on two satellites, were not shared withthe Space Commission or the Union Cabinet.

"One point that was not explicitly mentioned (to theUnion Cabinet) was that GSAT 6 and GSAT 6A satellites aregoing to be predominantly used for this novel and commercialapplication that Antrix had entered into with M/s Devas," hesaid.

In the wake of media reports that the deal between Devasand Antrix, commercial arm of ISRO, could cause a loss of overRs two lakh crore, the ISRO chief held a press conference toclarify that neither spectrum nor transponders or satelliteswere given to Devas or Antrix so far.

"The question of revenue loss incurred does not arise,"said Radhakrishnan, who was accompanied by former ISRO chiefand Member, Planning Commission K Kasturirangan.

He said the process of review of the contract wasinitiated in December 8, 2009 and soon "we are expecting it tocomplete it."

"In December 2009, I instituted a committee with a formermember of Space Commission for a comprehensive review of allmatters," he said explaining the genesis of the process ofreview.

To a question whether the Prime Minister was aware of thedeal, he said the contract is finalised by the Antrix Boardand he had taken up the matter to the Space Commission.

"After the decision, I broached the matter with the PrimeMinister, who is our Minister incharge and that is how the PMOconveyed a press note on the issue today," he said.

At this point Kasturirangan interjected to point out thatthe review process was proof of the robustness of the decisionmaking system.

Radhakrishnan said no time was wasted and there was nodilly-dallying. "We have come to taking a decision but thereview process is very complex and that is what we are goingthrough because we have to ensure that the government does notincur loss or suffer damage". .

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