A latest finding by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has blown the lid on a spectrum deal between ISRO-arm Antrix and a private company Devas Multimedia with reference to the usage of the 70 MHz S-band by the private player Devas Multimedia for a period of 20 years.
Another scam in the making, this one too deals with out-of-turn allocation of the S-band spectrum by Antrix to Devas without going through a formal bidding process. The CAG has questioned this move of the Department of Space of granting the spectrum to Devas, a private player that held immense potential commercially.
Devas enjoying the S-band gave the company unlimited leverage in the telecommunication space in terms of high speed mobile communication. It has to be remembered that the auction of just 15 Mhz of similar airwaves for 3G services led to the government gaining a whopping Rs 67,719 crores to its coffers. This is when the freebie deal 70 MHz enjoyed by Devas as part of satellite launch deal with ISRO comes under the scanner for a megre 1000 crore. This happened when industry bigwigs like MTNL and BSNL had to pay Rs. 12,847 crore for 20 Mhz.
The CAG findings also reported that there were strong objections from the Space Commission in July 2010 but yet the deal went through and Devas was given the spectrum to conduct trials.