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