AgustaWestland not debarred from participating in procurement process

Last Updated: Mon, Apr 29, 2013 14:20 hrs

Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Monday said AgustaWestland has participated in bids to procure choppers for Indian Navy and Coast Guard as no decision has been taken by the Central Government to debar it from the procurement process.

In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Antony said the Request For Proposal (RFP) for procurement of 56 Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH) was issued on September 4, 2012 prior to commencement of inquiry by CBI in the VVIP helicopter case.

"RFP for procurement of 14 Twin Engine Helicopters for the Indian Coast Guard was likewise issued on November 5, 2012," said Antony in a written reply to Neeraj Shekhar and others in Lok Sabha today.

"Only two companies have submitted bids for the NUH case and three companies submitted bids for the Twin Engine Helicopters case. The bidders include M/s. Augusta Westland. Since no decision to debar the said company from participation in the procurement process has so far been taken, the bids are under process," he added.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has so far named 11 people, including former Air Force chief S. P. Tyagi, and his three cousins in its preliminary enquiry into the AgustaWestland deal for 12 VVIP helicopters.

The Defence Ministry had earlier threatened to cancel the deal and sought a CBI probe after the CEO of AgustaWestland's parent company, Finmeccanica, was arrested in Italy for paying bribes. (ANI)

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