Free satellite capacity to AP Govt: CAG raps ISRO, Centre

The CAG has rapped ISRO and the Department of Space for incurring a revenue loss of Rs 19.16 crore by providing free communication satellite capacity to Andhra Pradesh Government in violation of the Centre's decision to charge all such users.

PTI| Updated: Nov 28, 2014, 21:30 PM IST

New Delhi: The CAG has rapped ISRO and the Department of Space for incurring a revenue loss of Rs 19.16 crore by providing free communication satellite capacity to Andhra Pradesh Government in violation of the Centre's decision to charge all such users.

"Allocation of satellite capacity free of cost to (the) Government of Andhra Pradesh in violation of the Department of Science policy resulted in loss of Rs 19.16 crore, including Rs 4.02 crore paid to foreign satellite owner for the period from July 2003 to March 2013," the CAG said in its audit report of ministries related to science and environment.

The CAG report tabled in Parliament today also highlighted the callousness of the Directorate of Purchase and Stores (DPS) falling under the Department of Atomic Energy which resulted in blocking of Rs 5.56 crore as it did not take "effective action" to repair an equipment which it had bought.

Holding DPS responsible for "incorrectly" blaming the vendor for damage to the equipment even though it was established that damage had occurred during transit, the auditor said DPS did not take any action to pursue insurance claim which later lapsed as it was valid for six months.

In its audit of the Department of Science and Technology, the CAG has highlighted how two autonomous organisations under it paid legal fees of Rs 83.55 lakh to a Kolkata-based advocate without verifying actual attendance in court.

Out of this payment, Rs 54.93 lakh was found to be fraudulent as in 144 dates of appearances claimed by the advocate, there were no hearing on these dates in the High Court, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) observed.

"The fact remains that although the issue was initially reported by Audit in July 2013, neither any preliminary enquiry nor filing of criminal cases was reported," it said.

Indicting the Department of Space, the CAG said its Space Capsule Recovery Experiment-2 mission was delayed by more than five years even after incurring expenditure of Rs 30.66 crore and parachutes and floats procured for Rs 52 lakh exceeded their shelf life, resulted in "wasteful expenditure".

"Its reply indicates a mismatch between financial and operational planning for launch of satellites which is significant in the overall context of shelf life of the mission payloads," the CAG noted in the report.