Space sector can hit $50 bn by 2024, needs policy support: Antrix-PwC study

The Indian space sector can become a $50 billion industry, or about one per cent of India's projected $5 trillion economy, by 2024 from the current $7 billion, according to a report by the Indian Space Research Organsiation (Isro)'s commercial arm Antrix and PwC.

The two organisations today released a report titled 'Preparing to Scale New Heights: Privatisation of India's Space Sector', at The Space Technology Conclave in Kerala.

Stating that India possesses critical capabilities to become a major player in the global commercial space market especially in the areas of communication (5G, broadband) and earth observation, there is also good demand for service delivery through small satellites and small satellite constellations.

But to realise the goal, India needs to create a conductive environment through suitable legal provisions, a strong regulatory framework and agency, IPR management, liability and indemnity clauses, positive tax laws and strong insurance arrangements, among others.

The report says start-ups need unhindered access to capital to scale up capacities and capabilities. The investment ecosystem for the space sector is nascent in India, so a congenial regulatory environment will help Indian manufacturers attract seed funding and attention for possible FDI, M&A and JVs with global partners, observed in the report.

It stated that government support is also needed in the form of buyback arrangements or schemes to incentivise investors.

While calling for privatisation of manufacturing, which will help India capture a larger share of the global space market, the report said absence of a space policy hinders commercialisation of the sector in the country.

Lack of clarity on space sector regulations, absence of an assured market and a long incubation disturb the risk-return profile, leading private firms to take a cautious approach, the report says.

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