Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tatra Deal: GSQR tweaked to suit scamsters?

CBI also looking into ‘non-indigenisation’ .
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 13:14 Rakesh K Singh | New Delhi

The CBI that is probing the deal between UK-based Tatra Sipox and BEML for supply of Tatra trucks to the Army is also investigating the reasons for the failure on the part of defence PSU for non- indigenisation of the component manufacturing for the all-terrain vehicles.
According to the original agreement between BEML and Omnipol, Czechoslovakia for manufacture of the all-terrain vehicles inked in March 1987, a maximum of 80 per cent of indigenisation of the component manufacturing was to be achieved by 1991-92.

The Department of Defence Production had paid `5.49 crore as technical documentation fee to the collaborator Omnipol and made an additional investment of `29.45 crore between 1986-87 and 1990-91 for creation of necessary infrastructure for production of targeted 250 Tatra trucks per annum from 1988-89 onwards.
“These targets, in respect of production as well as indigenisation were, however, never achieved,” said a 2000 CAG report on the performance of the defence PSU.
The report, gathered by the CBI during the ongoing probe of the Tatra trucks deal between intermediary firm Tatra Sipox and BEML inked in 1997 in contravention of the defence procurement rules, further said, “the indigenisation programme was virtually abandoned after 1991-92 when the order level dropped drastically from an average of 146 during the preceding three years to just 2 and indigenisation attained was 50.65 per cent.”
The CAG has also pointed out that BEML also accumulated as many as 748 non-moving inventory and 182 slow-moving inventory. The auditor had also slammed the defence PSU for not making significant profit from the investments made in the creation of facilities for Tatra trucks as BEML could mange a return of 8.28 per cent against the estimated return of 17.7 per cent by 1990-91 (year of stabilisation of the truck production).
The Central auditor had also pointed out that the Tatra trucks supplied to Army were virtually cross-subsidised by the Bharat Dynamics Ltd and Vehicle Research and Development Establishment.
While the FIR registered against Vectra chief Ravi Rishi, UK-based Vectra group and BEML has mentioned the year 1997 after which the supply of the trucks is being probed but sources said the agency is mulling over to enlarge the ambit of the probe.
CBI also looking into ‘non-indigenisation’

BEML Officials Quizzed
The CBI on Monday examined three senior officials of finance and vigilance wings of BEML regarding the alleged irregularities in the deal for supply of Tatra trucks. Agency sources did not name the officials but said they were asked questions about different aspects of the deal between BEML and the UK-based firm. The sleuths asked from the officials the reasons for entering into an agreement with Tatra Sipox UK which was not the original manufacturer in 1997 and the renewal of the contract for supply of the trucks in 2003. The CBI is also probing if the General Staff Qualitative Requirement for procurement of the vehicles was formulated to suit the intermediary firm.
BEML Officials Quizzed
Comment: The former Army Chiefs are also culpable for tweaking the GSQR to suit the Tatra Scamsters. Their role needs to be investigated and exposed.

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