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Nothing to hide in defence deals: Antony

Delhi,Business/Economy,Defence/Security,Politics, Wed, 02 May 2012 IANS

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) With a row rocking the Indian Army's purchase of all-terrain heavy-duty Tatra trucks, Defence Minister A.K. Antony Wednesday told parliament that there was "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" when it came to defence deals.


He also assured strong action against wrong-doers in the corruption cases in defence deals being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).


Replying to questions in the Rajya Sabha, Antony said: "We are clean... we have nothing to hide... nothing to fear."


Noting that the government has ordered a CBI probe in the Tatra pay-off allegations, Antony expressed hope that the investigating agency would complete its probe in quick time.


The defence minister also pointed out to the members that the Tatra trucks were purchased on the basis of requirements projected by the Indian Army.


To another question on blacklisting of defence firms, he said: "We are in a difficult situation as several 'powerful' nations, defence firms and also Indian defence players want to win business here."


Antony said the defence ministry has now decided to seek advice of the Central Vigilance Commission and the law ministry before going ahead with the ongoing projects.


He also admitted that retired armed forces officers were working for defence firms soon after retirement.


The defence ministry, he said, would give "serious" consideration to the suggestion of the parliamentary panel to increase from the present one year to five years the period barring defence officers from seeking private employment post-retirement.



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