Budget for Indian space agency up by 58 percent

Chennai, Feb 26 (Calcutta Tube) Indian space programme got a booster dose Friday with its plan allocation for fiscal 2010-11 rocketing up by 58 percent over that of previous year in the budget presented by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in parliament Friday.

The budgetary allocation for the Department of Space shot up to Rs.5,000 crore for the next fiscal as compared to the revised estimates of Rs.3,172 crore for 2009-10.

The budget has allocated Rs.500 crore for building Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) two rockets – polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) and geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV).

A sum of Rs.153 crore has been allocated for the development of GSLV Mark III, a rocket that can carry four-tonne payload and Rs.250 crore for development of semi-cryogenic engine.

Compared to Rs.230 crore allocated to ISRO’s manned mission in 2009-10, the funds for the next fiscal have been reduced to Rs.150 crore.

ISRO has worked out the total cost of the mission at Rs.12,000 crore.

While Rs.100 crore has been set aside for the lunar mission, Rs.262 crore has been provided for setting up navigational satellite systems.

‘Factoring the non-plan expenditure, the allocation for the next fiscal is up by 38 percent,’ S. Satish, director (publications), told IANS from ISRO’s headquarters in Bangalore over telephone.

For 2009-10, the revised estimates – plan and non plan – are put at Rs.4,167 crore whereas the figure for the next fiscal is Rs.5,778 crore, he added.

According to him, in the last fiscal the allocation for the manned mission was brought down to Rs.30 crore against the initial allocation of Rs.230 crore.

In effect, the allocation for the manned mission for the next fiscal is up by Rs.120 crore, he said.

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