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Rheinmetall objects to ban from Indian defence deals

Delhi,Business/Economy,Defence/Security, Fri, 23 Mar 2012 IANS

New Delhi, March 23 (IANS) Swiss defence firm Rheinmetall Air Defence AG (RAD) Friday objected to an Indian defence ministry decision to ban it from Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) contracts for the next 10 years.


"Rheinmetall Air Defence AG of Switzerland objects to the decision of the Indian Ministry of Defence announced March 5 to exclude it from doing business with India's Ordnance Factory Board (OFB)," a press release from the firm said here.


"This decision was based on allegations against RAD, which the company categorically rejects as false and entirely without merit," it said.


The government had decided to ban the firm from future deals following its naming in a chargesheet relating to a graft case against former OFB director general Sudipto Ghosh.


The defence ministry had issued a show cause notice to RAD and five other firms, and after considering their replies, decided to "debar" them from future OFB deals.



"The Indian authorities have yet to inform RAD of the details of these allegations. Transparency with regard to investigations would enable RAD to put forward conclusive evidence that will refute all claims made against it," RAD said in its release.


"RAD is keen to cooperate with India's authorities and to assist in any investigation related to the company," it added.



Insisting that its employees have invariably behaved in "a correct, law-abiding manner", the company claimed it had made it clear to Indian authorities in meetings, in which it underpinned its position with comprehensive documentation.


"Just as they are in every other country in the world, RAD employees in India are subject to the company's stringent compliance regulations and have adhered to them," it said.



"A mutually beneficial, trustful relationship with Indian government authorities and armed forces continues to be very important for the company. RAD will therefore do everything in its power to prove these allegations wrong. In the meanwhile, RAD remains committed to a close dialogue with the Indian authorities," it added.


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