Kochi: In the backdrop of the recent storm
over alleged corruption in defence procurements, Defence
Minister AK Antony on Wednesday said the country`s interests were
paramount and there will be "no cover up and no vendetta".
"India`s interests are our only concern. We are not
against any company or country. But India`s interests are
paramount", he told reporters on the sidelines of a function
at the Indian Coast Guard here.
Replying to questions in the light of Army Chief General VK Singh`s recent claim about alleged attempts to bribe him
to favour a sub-standard contract, he said "Corruption will
not be tolerated. Even if there is suspicion, a probe will be
"No cover up, no vendetta is our policy," he said, adding
if there is an iota of doubt, it would be looked into.
Antony said efforts were on to make defence procurement
more transparent. "When people do not get contracts, there
will be criticism and allegations. Some companies do try to
influence officials and if it is proved action will be taken".
He said six companies from Israel, Russia, Germany and
Singapore and two from India had recently been blacklisted.
The Defence acquisition council meeting last week had
sanctioned Annual projects, five-year projects and Long Term
Plan from 2012-27, he said.
On reported differences between the Army and the Defence
Ministry, he said, "Both are functioning from the same
building. There is no communication gap, no confrontation. I
function as a joint family. I am very comfortable. I respect
the armed forces, their commitment, and their dedication. I am
proud of it".
Antony said there was so much demand for joint exercises
with the Indian defence forces that "everyone wants to do (it)."