Monday, October 1, 2012

Tatra Scam: MOD and AHQ taken for a tata ride

BEML allegedly surrendered Tatra truck manufacturing rights partially
DEVESH K. PANDEY: The Hiondu NEW DELHI, September 25, 2012
The Central Bureau of Investigation has strong reasons to suspect that Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), through a memorandum of understanding with the Ravi Rishi-owned British company Tatra Sipox U.K., during the tenure of the suspended BEML chief V. R. S. Natarajan, allegedly partially surrendered the manufacturing rights of all-terrain Tatra trucks in 2003. The agency might now seek the opinion of the authorities concerned to verify the suspicion.
Investigations into the alleged irregularities in the supply of the trucks through BEML to the Indian Army have so far revealed that based on the 1986 and 1997 agreements with the manufacturers, BEML had gained exclusive rights to manufacture the trucks in India. However, through an MoU with Tatra Sipox U.K. in February 2003, it is alleged that the manufacturing rights were partially surrendered by excluding the axle part of the truck.
The CBI probe has revealed that the public sector unit had in 1986 entered into an agreement with Tatra of the erstwhile Czechoslovakia for supply of Tatra T815 trucks. Simultaneously, under the agreement, documents on technological know-how pertaining to the manufacturing of the trucks were also bought for Rs. three crore. It was agreed that BEML would progressively indigenise the trucks and the target was fixed at 85 per cent indigenisation by 1991.
However, when Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993, the manufacturing company also split into two. While the one manufacturing 70 per cent of the product was renamed as Tatra AS, the other was called Vab Sipox. According to agency sources, investigations revealed that Vab Sipox was gradually privatised and 80 per cent of the company was taken over by Josef Majsky, who allegedly had prior business links with Ravi Rishi.
During the turbulent phase, the supply of trucks was hit, and subsequently Ravi Rishi’s Venus Projects bagged one order of 100 trucks from BEML. It is alleged that Venus was awarded the contract despite the fact that it was neither a manufacturer nor its subsidiary, but a marketing company. In 1994, CBI probe revealed that Venus and Tatra Sipox allegedly came together to set up Tatra Sipox U.K. through a 50-50 partnership. Later, the company was allegedly taken over by Mr. Rishi.
The Slovak-based company, which earlier manufactured the truck axle and backbone tube part, during the correspondences with BEML, allegedly started exerting that BEML could not manufacture the axle as it was a patented product and thus had to be imported.
The agency has found that the agreement for supply of the truck components that was renewed in 1997 reinforced the exclusive manufacturing rights of BEML in India. Also, it allegedly mentioned that the technological know-how documents had been transferred to BEML.
However, soon after Mr. Natarajan took over as BEML chief, the PSU entered into an MoU with Tatra Sipox U.K. allegedly excluding the rights to manufacture the truck axle, thus partially surrendering the manufacturing rights. “The BEML was supposed to import only the components and manufacture the trucks on its own,” said a CBI source.
Investigations have also revealed that BEML had also developed a prototype of the Tatra truck axle, but it was not allowed to further develop it and was allegedly forced to import the axle, causing huge losses to the exchequer. Interestingly, agency sources said the then Secretary Defence Production had then raised objections asking cancellation of the 2003 MoU. However, the objections were ignored.
On the issue of the alleged surrendering of manufacturing rights, BEML Chief of Public Relations B. S. Sridhar said over the phone that he did not know anything about it. Several attempts to contact Mr. Natarajan also did not elicit any response.
BEML allegedly surrendered Tatra truck manufacturing rights partially
Hindu Readers Comments
  • How could a scam of this magnitude remain hidden from scrutiny for so long? What were the Vigilance Officers at BEML and the CVC doing? To me it seems almost impossible that a scam of this magnitude could have remained unknown for so long without the knowledge politicians at the highest levels. Will any of these politicians be brought to justice at any time? from: krishna Posted on: Sep 25, 2012 at 02:06 IST
  • Such negligence is very common in technology driven PSUs of defence ministry.Removing the cover of OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT can bring the can of worms in the open.It is really a criminal wastage of public money and scarce resources of our poor nation without the knowledge of tax paying public. from: Atis Posted on: Sep 25, 2012 at 09:52 IST
  • In a criminal case it is in the chargesheet that must do the talking. All these reports are nothing better than idle talk. A waste of time and space. from: Hilary Pais Posted on: Sep 25, 2012 at 10:05 IST

  • No comments:


    The contents posted on these Blogs are personal reflections of the Bloggers and do not reflect the views of the "Report My Signal- Blog" Team.
    Neither the "Report my Signal -Blogs" nor the individual authors of any material on these Blogs accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused (including through negligence), which anyone may directly or indirectly suffer arising out of use of or reliance on information contained in or accessed through these Blogs.
    This is not an official Blog site. This forum is run by team of ex- Corps of Signals, Indian Army, Veterans for social networking of Indian Defence Veterans. It is not affiliated to or officially recognized by the MoD or the AHQ, Director General of Signals or Government/ State.
    The Report My Signal Forum will endeavor to edit/ delete any material which is considered offensive, undesirable and or impinging on national security. The Blog Team is very conscious of potentially questionable content. However, where a content is posted and between posting and removal from the blog in such cases, the act does not reflect either the condoning or endorsing of said material by the Team.
    Blog Moderator: Lt Col James Kanagaraj (Retd)