New Delhi: The Congress has asked the Union government whether it is trying “to favour the Adani Defence JV” in the Rs 45,000-crore submarine project “in violation of the defence procurement procedures” and “by overruling” the Navy’s high-powered committee which “found the firm ineligible” for the deal.
Congress spokespersons Randeep Surjewala and Jaiveer Shergill demanded that the prime minister and defence minister state that ‘fairness’ not ‘foul play’, ‘nationalism’ not ‘crony capitalism’ should be the yardsticks for deciding India’s prestigious submarine project.
They said that following the request for expression of interest to build six conventional diesel-electric submarines for the Indian Navy (project 75-I) under the strategic partnership model, five responses were received –– from Larsen & Toubro, Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders, Reliance Naval & Engineering, Hindustan Shipyard (HSL) and Adani Defence and Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) joint venture.
“On examination of the manufacturing facilities, financial records and other criteria, the empowered committee of the Indian Navy shortlisted two entities (a) government-owned Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders; and (b) Larsen & Toubro. Yet, the government of India and the defence ministry now seek to overrule the Indian Navy’s empowered committee by directing consideration of Adani Defence JV”, the Congress spokespersons alleged. They claimed that “Adani Defence has zero experience in making ships or submarines”.
Source: Economic Times