New Delhi: Bogged down by kickback charges, the Scorpene submarine deal has now come under criticism from the Comptroller and Auditor General for the delay involved and
financial "advantage" given to the French company.
In its latest audit report tabled in Parliament
yesterday, the CAG came down heavily on the Defence Ministry
for the nine-year delay in concluding the contract and for
showing "undue financial advantage" to the company, which
hiked the price by Rs 2,838 crore despite the vessel`s design
The auditors` indictment comes a week after Defence
Minister AK Antony told the House that the delay in delivery
of Scorpene would impact Navy`s underwater capabilities.
The CAG report for 2008 said Indian Navy`s projected
requirement for a submarine fleet was approved in 1997, but
the contract with Armaris, a joint venture of DCN and Thales,
was done only in October 2005.
This despite the fact that the Navy`s force level was
depleting fast and of the present 16 diesel-electric
submarines in its fleet, it would be left with only nine by
"It took almost a decade to finalise the contract for
construction of 25 per cent of the envisaged force level (24).
Resultantly, the first submarine is likely to be inducted by
2012 only, by which time the inventory of the operational
submarines available for the Navy would be at its lowest ebb.
This would lead to serious operational ramifications," the