Anglo-Italian defence firm AgustaWestland has participated in bids to procure choppers for Indian Navy and Coast Guard as no decision has been taken by the government to debar it from the procurement process, Defence Minister A K Antony told the Lok Sabha today.
In a written reply to the House, he said the Request for Proposal (RFP) for procurement of the Naval Utility Helicopter (NUH)) was issued before commencement of CBI inquiry in the VVIP helicopter case.
"Since no decision to debar the said company (AgustaWestland) from participation in the procurement process has so far been taken, the bids are under process," he said.
On whether AgustaWestland has applied for tenders for supply of helicopters for the Indian Navy and Coast Guard, Antony said, "Yes... RFP for procurement of 56 NUH was issued in August 2012, prior to commencement of inquiry by CBI in the VVIP helicopter case."
RFP for procurement of 14 twin-engine helicopters for the Indian Coast Guard was likewise issued in November last year, he added.
"Only two companies have submitted bids for the NUH case and three companies submitted bids for the twin-engine helicopter case. The bidders include AgustaWestland," Antony said.
In reply to a separate question on modernisation of Navy, he said, "The budget allocation of Indian Navy for 2013-14 is Rs 34,212.33 crore, out of which Rs 22,738.70 crore is earmarked for modernisation purpose."
To a question over Main Battle Tanks (MBT) for the Indian Army, the Defence Minister said, "MBT Arjun Mark-I has been manufactured indigenously and Arjun Mark-II is under development. The T-90 tanks are manufactured indigenously by Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) under licensed production from the Original Equipment Manufacturer."
He also told the House that the Future Main Battle Tank (FMBT) is under indigenous design and development.
In reply to separate question on budgetary allocation for the year 2013-14, he said the services have been provided Rs 2,03,672.12 crore.
Answering a query over CSD canteens, Antony said two people- including a Brigadier-rank officer- have been arrested by the CBI for allegedly accepting illegal gratification in 2012.