Devas welcomes probe into accord with ISRO

February 11th, 2011 - 4:55 pm ICT by IANS  

ISRO Bangalore, Feb 11 (IANS) Devas Multimedia Friday said it welcomed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh initiating a probe into its deal with the Indian space agency on allocation of high frequency airwaves, but cautioned against any “precipitate decision” before the investigation is completed. “The company will cooperate in the fullest with these reviews, which it hopes will be completed before any precipitate decision is taken on the agreement,” company president and chief executive officer Ramachandran Viswanathan said in a statement, referring to two-member commission set up Thursday by the prime minister and the on-going review by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).

Planning Commission member and former cabinet secretary B.K. Chaturvedi and Space Commission member and aerospace expert Roddam Narasimha mske up the panel. They have been asked to submit their report within a month.

The CAG also is reviewing the agreement signed by the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) commercial arm Antrix Corporation and the Bangalore-based Devas Multimedia on allotting S-band frequency - the high value and scarce radio waves.

The deal signed in 2005 is said to have caused billions of rupees loss though both the government and the ISRO have denied it, pointing out neither transponders have been allotted to Devas nor any radiowaves sanctioned for the firm yet.

The CAG has said its findings about the reported revenue loss were not final.

“We are fully committed to working with anybody in the government on the reviews and will be willing to share any requested information with concerned agencies,” Viswanathan said.

He said “as of date, Devas Multimedia has not received any official communication on the cancellation of the agreement nor have we been provided any reasons for such possible action”.

“We continue to await Department of Space/ISRO/Antrix to deliver the contracted space segment capacity, notwithstanding any statements they have made,” he said.

Viswanathan said, “following media speculations about a potential cancellation of the agreement” in July last year, Devas “had proactively volunteered to meet the Space Commission and DoS/ISRO/Antrix to address and clarify any questions in respect of the agreement.”

“We also met and briefed the chairman (of) ISRO and his senior team in October 2010 on the progress of the Devas projectechnologies,” he said.

“At no time in these meetings or communications were any concerns in respect of the programme or agreement raised. The company has continually wished to ensure the facts of the agreement and the project were fully understood and that the unwarranted misrepresentations and misperceptions were avoided,” he said.

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