New Delhi: A media report has claimed to have unearthed yet another bigger and meaner scam involving the previous Congress-led UPA government – this time it is accused of supplying inferior steel for building naval ship.
According to an India Today report, the naval scam could be even bigger than the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scandal.
It said that the government has ordered an inquiry into the alleged “favours given by the previous UPA government to an Italian shipbuilding firm which provided two naval tankers to India”.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has reportedly ordered a "discreet inquiry" into the alleged naval tanker scam, the report added.
It is being alleged that the UPA government had favoured the Italian firm Fincantieri for building two naval tankers in 2009. It is also accused of approving inferior quality steel to build the tankers.
According to the report, the government is presently scrutinising the details of the contract awarded to the Italian firm.
A former naval officer has reportedly blown the lid off and has now demanded a probe into the 2009 purchase of two fleet tankers, crucial for the Navy's deep water capabilities.
These tankers had to be bought as Indian Navy's biggest aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya was on its way from Russia.
“Defence Minister AK Antony had hailed this as one of the fastest procurements of a fleet tanker manufactured with Indian specifications,” the report said.
It is being alleged that instead of using weapons grade steel for the manufacture of the tankers, the firm used commercial grade steel.