Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India is continuing its audit on commercial activities of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). But by whatever the auditors have seen so far, the CAG has asked the Department of Space to clarify its position on prima facie irregularities in a single deal that suggests a possible loss of two lakh crores of rupees to the national exchequer.
The deal is inked between ISRO’s commercial arm Antrix Corporation Ltd and a private firm Devas Multimedia (P) Ltd, headed by Dr. M.G.Chandrasekharan, former Scientific Secretary of ISRO.
Reports indicate that foreigners have shares in this firm.
The deal is so cleverly schemed that Devas Multimedia is entitled to unbridled use of at least 70 Mhz of scarce S-band spectrum for two decades which would give it a bonanza to lord over a profit of many lakhs of crores of rupees when Indian Exchequer is thrown into the labyrinth of conspiracy under the scheme where it is bound to suffer a loss of at least Rs.2 lakh crores in the current value of its money during the bonded years.
In fact, this is a severe conspiracy the country has been thrown into since 2005 by the Prime Minister who himself is the Minister of DoS.
He cannot say that he is ignorant.
It is on records that the Space Commission has strongly objected to the deal and has stressed on total scrapping of this device of loot. But the dubious deal, done without even calling for a competitive bid, continues uninterrupted and has been encouraged to march ahead by the very act of allocation of enough spectrum to conduct trials. The CAG has started to save the country from this conspiracy of loot.
The deal is designed to cause stupendous financial loss to the country. But more than this, it harms our democracy beyond repair as the needle of suspicion in mass mind points to the Prime Minister, as he has kept the country in dark about it till the chance catch of glimpses of the felony by the CAG.
The deal under question is blatantly illegal because of absence of competitive bidding and because of non-existence of control of the country over the spectrum use when the beneficiary private firm is having foreign connection.
Prime Minister Singh directly controls the Department of Space (DoS) that owns ISRO. Unless he relinquishes the post, the truth about the illicit and harmful deal cannot entirely come out. Hence, Singh should relinquish the Prime Minister post.