The Prime Minister’s Office has denied media reports that a private company has been allotted 70 MHz of spectrum for Rs.1000 crore through a deal with ISRO, saying no decision has been taken and hence charges of revenue loss of a whopping Rs.two lakh crore were without any basis.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who was then Union minister dealing with the department, said in Mumbai, “in 2010, when I was a member of the Space Commission, this issue came up…it was decided to cancel it (agreement), that I am sure”.
In Bangalore, former ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair, who was heading the organisation in 2005, sought to distance himself from the whole controversy on the ground that the organisation had nothing to do with spectrum allocation.
“Spectrum allocation is not our business. We build and operate satellites”.
A statement from spokesperson of the PMO on Tuesday said that the office had seen media reports alleging loss of government revenue in a contract entered into by ANTRIX (the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation) and Devas Multimedia Private Limited due to lease of space segment capacity which would use S-Band spectrum.
“The Comptroller and Auditor General’s office and Department of Space have already issued statements stating the factual position on the matter.
“It is further clarified that no decision has been taken by the government to allocate space segment using S-Band spectrum to ANTRIX or Devas. Hence, the question of revenue loss does not arise and any such reports are without basis in fact,” the PMO statement said.
Media reports had stated that the Department of Space, which comes directly under the Prime Minister, had allocated 70 MHz of S-Band spectrum to Devas Multimedia for Rs 1,000 crore. The actual value of this was estimated to be around Rs 2 lakh crore, the reports claimed.