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Tatra truck deal: Antony assures action after CBI probe

New Delhi, Wed, 02 May 2012 ANI

New Delhi, May 2 (ANI): Defence Minister A.K Antony on Wednesday said the government would take stringent action against those involved in corruption and in the procurement of Tatra heavy-duty trucks for the army.

Clarifying the government's stand in the Rajya Sabha, Antony said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is probing the matter and the perpetrators would be brought to book.

"We have already referred the matter for extensive, comprehensive enquiry by the CBI and we hope CBI will complete the enquiry as quickly as possible. My understanding is that the enquiry is going on fast. While misconception is there about the procurement of equipment for the armed forces; every procurement of this vehicle, hitherto from 1986 onwards, by the ministry is as per the General Staff Qualitative Requirements (GSQR) report prepared by the army and as per their requirements only," he said.

"Government is not imposing the army to take this vehicle, the requirement is coming from their side only, and government side is not imposing," he added.

Antony further said that the government has taken a serious note on the procurement issues and during investigation, the CBI has recommended to blacklist six companies, including four foreign and two Indian companies.

"Coming to the process of blacklisting. When we found there was some kind of compromise in the transparency, some corruptions, some passing of money between hands, CBI arrested the then Chairman of the ordnance factory board, they held extensive enquiry. After that CBI have recommended that they have found out real evidence, so, government must debar, blacklist these six companies," he said.

" One company is Israeli company, one is Russian company, one is a Germen company, one is Singapore company and two are Indian companies. Now after that, now we took a decision to debar these companies for 10 years. Ten years, we will have no work with these companies. We will not give any orders to theses companies," he added.

Antony further said the process is time consuming, however, action would be taken against those who are involved in any kind of wrong doing.

"We are in a difficult situation. On the one side, we have been accused of delaying things and on the other side; we have been accused of not taking actions. When we take actions, there will be some delay; on that account also we have been accused. We are facing a very difficult situation in the procurement area," he said

"Powerful countries are involved, powerful foreign members are involved, powerful Indian members are there, so each of them want the Indian business. If any body is lost, so they can also raise objection. So we have to handle it very carefully, that is why some delay take place. At the same time, whenever we find something wrong somewhere, we used to take strong actions, like to even something at the last hour, sometimes at the last moment we take actions, that is why our government is cancelled many of the major contracts at the last moment, it caused some delay," added Antony.

Bharat Earthmovers Limited (BEML) that functions under Ministry of Defence Production as a government owned company procured the Tatra trucks and assorted other vehicles from Tatra-Vectra consortium for supplying to the Indian Army. (ANI)

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