The two-man committee — comprising Planning Commission member and former Cabinet Secretary B.K. Chaturvedi, and Space Commission member Professor Roddam Narasimha — will review the technical, commercial, procedural and financial aspects of the agreement between Antrix and Devas
Welcoming the constitution of a high-power committee by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to review its deal with Antrix Corporation, Devas Multimedia on Friday expressed the hope that the government would not take “any precipitate decision” until the entire exercise was over.
“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…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,” Devas Multimedia president and CEO Ramachandran Viswanathan said in a statement.
It noted that “the Comptroller and Auditor General of India is in parallel reviewing the agreement...”
The two-man committee — comprising Planning Commission member and former Cabinet Secretary B.K. Chaturvedi, and Space Commission member Professor Roddam Narasimha — will review the technical, commercial, procedural and financial aspects of the agreement between Antrix (which is the commercial arm of ISRO) and Devas Multimedia. If operationalised, the deal would give the Bangalore-based private firm virtually free access to rare S-band spectrum worth an estimated Rs.2 lakh crore for 20 years. The committee has been asked to submit its report the Prime Minister, who is in charge of the Department of Space, within a month.
Further defending its deal with Antrix, Devas said: “In July 2010, following media speculations about a potential cancellation of the Agreement, Devas Multimedia had proactively volunteered to meet the Space Commission and DoS, ISRO and Antrix to address and clarify any questions in respect of the Agreement…We also met and briefed the Chairman ISRO and his senior team in October 2010 on the progress of the Devas project/technologies and requested an expeditious launch of GSAT 6 satellite, given the over 20 months of delay.”
Devas claimed that “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”. It reiterated that “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.”