ISRO's assets will be shared with private space sector players, Nirmala Sitharaman said

New Delhi: Start-ups and private firms will get to use facilities and assets of the Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO to improve their capacities, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said today as she announced reforms for eight sectors amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

"Future projects for planetary exploration and outer space travel will be open for private sector," the Finance Minister said on her fourth press briefing of policy decisions after Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this week announced a Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus.

"India already has the benefit of an extraordinary institution like ISRO, but now lots of private players are also coming in with innovative space technology. We will allow private players to benefit from ISRO's assets and give them a level-playing field to boost India's space sector further," Ms Sitharaman said.

"There is a lot of Geo-Spatial data available in India. Currently start-ups and private companies have to go abroad, but that will now change. This is a sensitive area and will follow strict guidelines, but will make information available to start-ups and private firms," the Finance Minister said.

"The Indian private sector will be a co-traveller in India's space sector journey. We will provide a predictable policy and regulatory environment to private players," Ms Sitharaman said.