S-band allocation was a mistake; it is asset of forces: Antony

Posted By: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 17 (PTI) As the government scrapped theS-Band spectrum allocation deal, Defence Minister A K Antonytoday said a "mistake" had been committed in reaching it asthe Defence Ministry had not been consulted about theagreement which involved crucial asset of the security forces.

He expressed confidence that in future the firstpriority would be given to security forces in allocation ofsuch spectrum.

"They have done some mistake.... S-Band is mainly forthe strategic forces and in which our services- army, navy,air froze- they have got major stake," he told reporters.

Noting that S-Band spectrum was "very precious assetfor us", the Defence Minister said its "availability islimited" and has to be given to the armed forces, paramilitaryand other strategic forces.

"It is unfortunate that earlier we were not consultedat that time by those who took the decision," he said addingthat "In the future the first priority would be for thestrategic forces and strategic organizations."

Antony said the Ministry of Defence and Services have gota major stake and "I hope their concerns would be properlyaddressed. I am confident about that."

His remarks came hours after the Cabinet Committee onSecurity (CCS) annulled the controversial deal saying it wasnot in the strategic interest of the country.

Commenting on Antony''s remarks, Law Minister M VeerappaMoily said the "issues" raised by his cabinet colleague "canbe a subject matter" before the B K Chaturvedi Committee setby Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently to look into variousaspects of the S-Band allocation. .

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