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Indian satellite scandals probed

India’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is demanding action over alleged malpractice by the country’s Department of Space (DoS) in how transponder satellite capacity was awarded to private direct-to-home broadcasters. The PAC state that decisions going back more than 10 years need to be fully investigated.

The 22-member PAC is made up of Indian parliamentarians in the lower house.

In a major report (‘Management of Satellite Capacity for DTH Services by Department of Space’) the PAC accuse the DoS of allocating capacity in an informal and out-of-turn manner, and also allege that undue favour was shown to India’s Space Research Organisation’s commercial arm, Antrix, leading to lost revenues and with several instances of wasteful expenditure.

Moreover, the actions of the DoS meant significant loss of revenues to the State. Renewals of transponder capacity were not subject to an increase in annual lease rates, says the report, leading to further losses of revenues.

Specifically, the PAC report alleges that TataSky was given undue prominence in how capacity was allocated, and called for a thorough investigation and to take “stern action” against those responsible.

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