In the wake of reports that it is facing a financial crisis, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited said on Sunday the orders for 83 light combat aircraft and 15 light combat helicopters were in advanced stages and that its finances are expected to improve.
The state-run aerospace major also said it had taken an overdraft of Rs 962 crores to meets its current requirements. "In view of the various media reports on HAL, the following is clarified: HAL has taken overdraft of Rs 962 crores. With anticipated collection up to March, the cash position is expected to improve. Orders for LCA Mk1 A (83) & LCH (15) are in advanced stages," it said in a tweet.
The HAL's tweet came amid reports that it was forced to borrow money to pay salaries to its employees, triggering a war of words between the Congress and the BJP.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi alleged that Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman "lied" in Parliament that government orders worth Rs 1 lakh crore was provided to the HAL while demanding she either place the documents in support of her statement in the House or resign.
Suggesting that Gandhi jumped the gun while making the charges following a media report, Sitharaman's office tweeted that he should "start from ABCs" and read the complete report before commenting on it.
"It's a shame that the president of @INCIndia is misleading the nation. HAL has signed contracts worth Rs 26570.8 Cr (Between 2014 and 2018) and contracts worth Rs 73000 Cr are in the pipeline. Will @RahulGandhi apologise to the country from the floor of the house?," Sitharaman tweeted from the defence minister's official handle.
with PTI inputs