CCS to take final decision on Antrix-Devas contract: PM

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 16 (PTI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singhtoday said the controversial deal between Antrix, ISRO''scommercial arm, and Devas for S-band spectrum allocation hadnever been operationalised and the Cabinet Committee onSecurity will soon decide on terminating it.

He rejected any suggestions that his office had held"backroom" talks with Devas after the Space Commission''sdecision to scrap the deal and said any the delay inimplementing it was "procedural".

Singh said officials of Department of Space, ISRO andAntrix did meet Devas representatives after July last yearsince the "agreement had not actually been annulled".

"But no further actions were taken by the Department ofSpace or ISRO to implement the agreement," he said in aninteraction with editors of news channels.

"There have been no backroom talks... There has been noeffort in the PMO to dilute in any way the decision taken bythe Space Commission in July 2010. On that, I would like toassure you and the country," Singh said.

However, he said that if there has been delay inscrapping the deal, this has been "only procedural".

"No assurance was given in contravention of therecommendation of the Space Commission. Though there has beensome delay in processing, this was only procedural. The factis that the contract was not operational in any practicalsense," the Prime Minister said.

He said inter-ministerial consultations on the matterwere almost complete and it would be put before the CabinetCommittee on Security for a final decision.

Meanwhile, Devas Multimedia termed as "disturbing andinappropriate" the government''s "unilateral" decision toterminate the agreement "without due investigative process andwithout following the principles of natural justice".

Devas said it expected the government to fulfil all itsobligations under the agreement and will take strong steps,including legal, to protect its rights.

"We have grave concerns regarding the government''sstatement today on pre-meditated annulment of the agreement,despite pending high-power committee and CAG reviews which arestill in the preliminary stages," a statement issued by theBangalore-based company said. .

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