Reports of loss in S-band spectrum allocation baseless : PMO

Posted By: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 8 (PTI) The Prime Minister''s Office todaydenied media reports that a private company has been allotted70 MHz of spectrum for Rs.1000 crore through a deal with ISRO,saying no decision has been taken and hence charges of revenueloss of a whopping Rs.two lakh crore were without any basis.

The PMO clarification came even as BJP trained its gunson Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying ISRO is directlyunder his charge and he cannot escape responsibility oraccountability for the 2005 "deal".

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who wasthen Union minister dealing with the department, said inMumbai, "in 2010, when I was a member of the Space Commission,this issue came was decided to cancel it (agreement),that I am sure".

In Bangalore, former ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair, whowas heading the organisation in 2005, sought to distancehimself from the whole controversy on the ground that theorganisation had nothing to do with spectrum allocation.

"Spectrum allocation is not our business. We build and operatesatellites".

A statement from spokesperson of the PMO said that theoffice had seen media reports alleging loss of governmentrevenue in a contract entered into by ANTRIX (the commercialarm of Indian Space Research Organisation) and DevasMultimedia Private Limited due to lease of space segmentcapacity which would use S-Band spectrum.

"The Comptroller and Auditor General''s office andDepartment of Space have already issued statements stating thefactual position on the matter.

"It is further clarified that no decision has been takenby the government to allocate space segment using S-Bandspectrum to ANTRIX or Devas. Hence, the question of revenueloss does not arise and any such reports are without basis infact," the PMO statement said.

Media reports had stated that the Department of Space,which comes directly under the Prime Minister, had allocated70 MHz of S-Band spectrum to Devas Multimedia for Rs 1,000crore. The actual value of this was estimated to be around Rs2 lakh crore, the reports claimed.

BJP alleged that the allocation was done quietly andwithout bringing the issue into the public domain.

Dubbing the PMO clarification as meaningless, the partysaid there are important questions which the Prime Ministermust explain to the nation.

"It is self evident that Manmohan Singh is leading aregime that is the most corrupt after independence...yet it isclaimed that he is Mr.Clean", BJP spokesperson Ravi ShankarPrasad told reporters.

Prasad said Singh should answer whether ISRO sought hisapproval for the 2005 deal and if so on what terms andconditions.

Did the Department of Space headed by the Prime Ministerinsist upon public auction of the spectrum in view oflargescale expansion of mobile telephony and other relateduse. If not, why not," he asked.

"There is collusion at high level. There are no checksand balances and there is virtual collapse of the system wherescam after scam and scandal after scandal has become the orderof the day", he said.

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