NDA govt tweaked chopper tech norms: Tyagi
New Delhi: Former air chief SP Tyagi has dragged former NSA Brajesh Mishra, who died last year, into the controversy surrounding the procurement of 12 VVIP choppers from AugustaWestland.
Tyagi claimed that Mishra had ordered the change of technical norms after it was fiound that there was only one vendor who could provide chopper capable of flying at 18,000 feet.
Tyagi claimed that Mishra wrote to the Air Force that the helicopter doesn't meet the SPG's requirement and since there is no other helicopter available that can fly at that height, there is a need to change the requirements and it was then suggested, the height be changed to 15000 feet.
Meanwhile, the government has put on hold the deal pending a CBI probe. As 35 percent of the payment has been made so far, all monetary transactions have been stopped and the delivery of the choppers frozen, for now.
While SP Tyagi has named the NSA during Vajpayee's term, the Italian report has alleged that 51 million euro kickbacks were paid between 2005 and 2011, during the UPA regime. The kickbacks were paid in the form of monthly remittances disguised as payments for engineering contracts.
Italian officials say at least 21 million euros was paid from 2007 to 2011, making the UPA government accountable, as it was in power. The payments were allegedly made through two companies - IDS India and IDS Tunisia - and no taxes were paid on the same.