IAF to be "unforgiving" against unethical firms



New Delhi: Against the backdrop of certain defence firms being blacklisted on bribery charges, the IAF on Wednesday warned the defence industry against falling prey to unethical practices, saying it would be "unforgiving" towards such companies.

"There have been recent concerns on this aspect. We must make sure that our ethical practices are not compromised for our enthusiasm for rapid growth. There is a lot of greed out there and many in this business are there to teach you how to handle this domain.

"Do not fall prey to this. Let me assure you that if Air Headquarters comes across any such case, we will be very unrelenting and unforgiving on this aspect," Indian Air Force (IAF) Deputy Chief, Air Marshal R K Sharma said here. He was addressing a CII function on 'Energising Aerospace Industry' in India.

Recently, the Defence Ministry blacklisted six defence companies including four foreign firms for their alleged involvement in the Ordnance Factory Board scam after its former Chairman Sudipto Ghosh was charge sheeted by CBI in the illegal gratification case.

After that, CBI also registered a case against businessman Abhishek Verma for allegedly taking a bribe of over USD five lakh from Swiss firm Rheinmetall Air Defence for getting them out of the Defence Ministry blacklist.

Addressing the CII function, the IAF Deputy Chief said the force has signed contracts worth more than Rs 1.5 lakh crore in last five years and it was planning to spend a higher amount in the next five years.

"I can say that the 12th and 13th Plans are the decade of opportunity for the private sector. It is time for the industry to settle in," Sharma said.

He also advocated the use of assets of DRDO and Defence Public Sector Units by the private sector companies, saying "They are national assets and we need to utilise them."

PTI