Indian Defense Minister AK Antony today issues a stern warned to industry against malpractices in defense deals.
“India is changing. No more can foreign collaborators corrupt and tempt our people,” he said inaugurating the seminar DefCom India 2009, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Corps of Signals of the Indian Army.
He said he was ‘not happy at the cancellation of the Eurocopter’, but was firm in warning, similar ‘ruthless action’ would be taken in future in the case of any ‘manipulation and malpractice’. “We will ruthlessly cancel contracts in the future also as in the past,” he said, adding, “We will not be lenient.”
He also warned Indian defense industry, ‘Tell your foreign collaborators’, “Foreign collaborators should not tempt or bribe our people. In future also we will take ruthless action.” He said this in direct response to an appeal by CII’s Hari Bhartia to speed up the defense procurement process, after completing his prepared speech. “While we are determined to speed up procurement, we cannot compromise on transparency,” Antony said.
The Indian government had canceled a a 600-million-dollar deal in December 2007 for 197 helicopters awarded to EADS’ Eurocopter after allegations of corruption in the bidding process.
Again in March this year, the bidding process for 22 attack helicopters was canceled because of the failure of the competing products in matching the required parameters.