Antony lists anti-corruption measures as major achievement

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - 21:25

New Delhi: Defence Minister A K Antony on Wednesday listed the cancellation of AgustaWestland chopper deal and his coming down heavily on the irregularities in defence deals as his major achievement during his seven-year tenure in Defence Ministry.

Ordering of CBI probes in alleged scams such as Rolls Royce bribery, Adarsh, Srinagar and Jodhpur land scams were his achievements, a Defence Ministry release said.

It was issued prior to announcement of schedule for general elections and implementation of the Model Code of Conduct.

"Behind his characteristic unassuming demeanour, there exists a value system which comes down heavily when irregularities are detected in defence deals.

"He will not stand by any act of omission or commission that will bring the Armed Forces to disrepute or let it tarnish the ideals of the officers, no matter however influential or mighty the accused might be," the release said.

The Ministry said during the seven years of his tenure as the Defence Minister, Antony "took a slew of measures to not only clean up the procurement process but also to give out a strong signal to both domestic and foreign vendors to not to resort to unfair means to win defence contracts."

"Six firms were debarred by the Defence Ministry in March 2012 following probe by the CBI. It also terminated the 556.26 million Euro AgustaWestland deal for purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters on grounds of breach of the Pre-Contract Integrity Pact (PCIP) and the agreement by AWIL," it said.

The Ministry said Antony had ordered a CBI probe into allegations of bribery in supply of Tatra trucks for the Army and in March 2014, he gave the green signal for a CBI probe into the allegations of the appointment of "an intermediary in the deals concluded between the HAL and the Rolls Royce company of UK, in contravention of the contract rules."

Under attack for stalling defence modernisation for blacklisting firms on corruption charges, the Ministry said Antony relentlessly pursued the process of modernisation of the Armed Forces and also brought about far reaching changes in the lives of serving and retired military personnel.

It said soon after taking over, Antony visited all important military bases from Siachen in north to Thiruvananthapuram in south, from Tawang in North East to Minicoy in South west.

"He met jawans and officers in difficult terrains and prodded them to share their frank views regarding difficulties and challenges faced by them. He also brought about far reaching changes in the lives of serving and retired military personnel," the release said.

"Some of the changes brought in the lives of soldiers include breaching the barriers in the allocation of eggs and fruits to jawans which is illustrative of the depth to which Antony delved to bring about pragmatism in military administration," it said.

The Ministry also credited Antony for the "coming of age of five long standing projects - induction of MBT Arjun in Army, induction of LCA Tejas in IAF and arrival of INS Vikramaditya for Navy."
It said under Antony`s leadership, India`s indigenous nuclear powered submarine, INS Arihant, made substantial progress and achieved "criticality" and successful completion of trials for underwater launched ballistic missile system.
The Ministry also gave Antony the credit for implementing policies such as `One-Rank-One-Pension`, dual family pension and opening up of Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme.

PTI

First Published: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - 21:25

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