Regulators

Prima facie, no problem in Space TV: I&B ministry

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NEW DELHI: The Department of Company Affairs (DCA) willing, Space TV may finally see some light at the end of the long bureaucratic tunnel.

The information and broadcasting ministry now is of the opinion that if DCA clears the legal and technical aspects of the Space TV application, seeking a nod for a DTH licence for over a year now, it would not have any problems in issuing a letter of intent.

A senior I&B ministry official today indicated that DCA is examining the Space TV application sent to it and it's "only a matter of time" when it will revert with its comments that would decide the fate of the Tata-Star joint venture.

"Since we are not equipped to examine the technical and legal aspects of a corporate entity in entirety, DCA's help has been sought," the official added.

Asked whether the I&B ministry feels that Space TV's application complies more or less with the DTH guidelines after changes had been incorporated by the company, as suggested by the government, the ministry official shot back, On the face of it, everything looks satisfying.

However, the official, while admitting that a note had been readied on the issue for minister's comments, refused to give a time frame to final issuance of an LoI to Space TV. Government procedure takes it own time, was about all he would say.

Space TV's quest of a DTH licence began in 2002. In between, the application had to be made afresh in 2003 as the government felt that in the earlier version of Space TV, the Indian partnership was more of a dummy.

The project cost is estimated to be Rs 16 billion ($350 million).

The government had announced a set of DTH guidelines towards the end of 2001 by which time quite a few interested players had already got frustrated and abandoned their plans to make forays into the DTH segment.

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