No deal with AgustaWestland, says government
New Delhi, April 30: The government asserted on Saturday that no deal had been struck with Italian aircraft major AgustaWestland that is accused of graft in India’s purchase of VVIP helicopters.
“In their (the opposition’s) drive to divert the public attention from their own corruption, some have said that the (Narendra) Modi government permitted AgustaWestland to bid for 100 naval utility helicopters in April 2015,” an official statement said.
“No request for proposal has been issued, therefore the question of permitting AgustaWestland to bid for the naval utility helicopter in April 2015 does not arise,” the statement said, adding: “The government is exploring whether their manufacturing can be pursued under Make in India.”
“The fact is that a techno-commercial Request for Proposal (RFP) for Naval Utility Helicopters was issued to eight vendors on August 4, 2012. In response to the RFP, M/S Eurocopters, France and M/S AgustaWestland S.p.A Italy submitted their techno-commercial proposals on March 4, 2013,” the statement said.
This RFP had been “retracted” on October 13, 2014, the statement said.
The Congress has attacked the government and asked if it had struck a deal with Italy and why it had allowed AgustaWestland to participate in the Make in India initiative.
The government said that it has taken effective action to bring out the truth and will leave no stone unturned in pursuing all means to bring to justice the corrupt and the wrong-doers in the chopper case.
On the core issue of corruption, the timeline of action taken by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate clearly shows the due rigour and diligence with which these agencies have pursued all aspects of their investigations, including the arrest and extradition of three foreigners – Carlo Gerosa, Guido Haschke Ralph and Christian Michel James – the statement said.
The CBI has so far questioned over 100 people in the case.
Some of the accused in September and November 2014 and their property confiscated.
A criminal complaint was also filed. Letter of Requests were sent out by ED and CBI to Mauritius (July 2013), Tunisia and Italy (December 2013), British Virgin Islands, Singapore and Britain (September 2014), the United Arab Emirates and Switzerland (December 2014). The agencies are continuing to pursue responses to the letter of requests from the countries concerned, the statement added.