Favour to French co in Scorpene deal comes up at PAC meet

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - 21:46

New Delhi: The alleged financial "advantage"
given to a French company while concluding the Rs 18,798-crore
Scorpene submarine deal came up for discussion at a meeting of
the Parliament`s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) here on Tuesday.

The Committee, headed by expelled BJP leader Jaswant
Singh, went into the report of the Comptroller and Auditor
General relating to "undue favour to vendor in acquisition of
submarine", Parliament sources said.

Defence Ministry officials, who gave oral evidence on the
issue, reported to have agreed with the Committee on the delay
in concluding the deal and avoid any such delay in future, the
sources said.

In its audit report tabled in Parliament in July, the CAG
came down heavily on the Defence Ministry for the nine-year
delay in concluding the contract.

The CAG report for 2008 had 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 reached only in October 2005.

The CAG had noted that the project to construct six
Scorpenes at Mazagon Dockyards Limited (MDL) had already
slipped two years behind schedule, though the delivery of the
submarines was fixed between 2012 and 2017.

The Committee also looked into the performance audit
report relating to the Midday Meal Scheme and listened to the
oral evidence from officials of the Ministry of Human Resource
Department.

Unlike the previous occasion when BJP and its ally Shiv
Sena members had boycotted the meeting, members belonging to
these parties attended today`s meeting, they said.

Bureau Report



First Published: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - 21:46

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