New Delhi: The expenditure on the ground system of the proposed SAARC satellite project will be borne by the regional bloc countries while India will bear the expenses on its building and launching, government today said.
Union Minister of State for the Department of Space, Jitendra Singh said this in a written response to a question in Lok Sabha.
"While the cost towards building and launching a satellite will be met by the government of India, the cost towards ground system is expected to be sourced by respective SAARC countries," Singh said in his reply.
"The objective of this project is to develop a satellite for the SAARC region that enables a full range of services to all our neighbours in the areas of telecommunications and broadcasting applications like television, DTH, tele-education and disaster management," he said.
Incidentally, India has maintained that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious SAARC satellite project was a "gift" by the country to its neighbours.
India will be launching 28 satellites of six countries between 2015-2017, the government also said.
Singh said Antrix -- the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) -- has signed agreements for launching 28 foreign satellites of Algeria, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Singapore and the US during the period.
He added, until now, 45 satellites from 19 countries have been launched by the ISRO and the income generated through this amounts to around USD 17 million and Euro 78.5 million.
Singh also informed that the government has sanctioned 15 smaller PSLV launchers worth Rs 3,090 crore which would be built during 2017-2020.
In a response to another question, Singh elaborated on the initiation of chalking out a roadmap for the country's space programmes in addressing short-term and long-term areas.