MoD Decision on Blacklisting Agusta Soon
By Express News Service | Published: 21st January 2014 08:38 AM |
Three weeks after terminating a `3,727-crore deal with Italian firm AgustaWestland to purchase VVIP helicopters over allegations of bribery, Defence Minister A K Antony on Monday said a decision on blacklisting of the firm would be taken after consultations with the CBI and the Law Ministry.
Antony also said the Ministry of Defence officials were now examining the whole episode and the decision would come after a detailed examination of the case that is under the CBI investigation.
“We are examining the whole thing and we will take a decision after detailed examination and in consultation with the Law Ministry and CBI. I don’t want to take any hasty action that will cause problems to us. There is no understanding between the government and the company,” he said in reply to queries from mediapersons on the sidelines of the Republic Day NCC camp at the Delhi Cantonment.
The Defence Minister said the present focus of the government was on cashing the AgustaWestland’s bank guarantees in Italy and India. “In the bank in India, we have encashed it (guarantees). In the Italian bank, we are trying to get our money. There (in Italy) they have disputed (our cashing the guarantees). But, immediately, we are trying to fight case and we are taking other actions to protect our interests,” he said.
The deal had been cancelled on January 1 citing breach of the pre-contract integrity pact that the company had signed under which it was not to engage an arms agent to swing the tender in its favour. The MoD had cashed the guarantees provided by AgustaWestland from the bank in India last
On inquiry into violation of norms in granting NOC to build a hotel and a yachting facility in Andaman and Nicobar, Antony said the investigation report was being assessed and strict action would be taken if anyone was found guilty.