Howitzer tender cancelled thrice in 10 years: Antony



New Delhi: For the third time in last 10 years, the Defence Ministry has cancelled a tender for procuring 180 self-propelled wheeled artillery guns for the Army, Defence Minister AK Antony informed Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

"The Request for Proposal (RFP) for procurement of 180 howitzers has been cancelled in 2012, for the third time in past ten years," he said in written reply to a query.

The minister said the RFP was cancelled this year as both the firms participating in the tender were not able to meet the parameters.

He said the first RFP was issued in 2002 in which five firms had responded but only one could qualify at the technical evaluation stage and it had to be retracted due to procedural infirmities.

"RFP was issued for the second-time in February 2007 to 29 firms of which only two responded but one offer was rejected because of procedural deficiency, resulting in a single vendor situation," the minister said.

The Army has failed to induct new howitzers after the Bofors gun deal scam in 1986 despite repeated efforts to do so.

Meanwhile, answering a question, Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh said, "The total value of defence exports from Defence PSUs and OFB including defence exports from defence companies in the private sector was Rs. 997 crore during the last three financial years."

PTI