New Delhi, Aug 5 IANS | 5 months ago

All deals in pipeline with Italian conglomerate Finmeccanica, whose British subsidiary AgustaWestland is facing probe in the VVIP chopper deal, have been put on hold till further orders, officials said here Tuesday.

Sources said circulars have been issued by the defence ministry that all procurements and acquisition cases in the pipeline with Finmeccannica, including its subsidiaries, should be put on hold.

Finmeccanica and its companies are involved in several ongoing defence projects in India running into thousands of crores of rupees.

The defence ministry has also asked the departments under it not to have any dealings with the firms named in the probe concerning the VVIP chopper case.

India cancelled the Rs.3,600 crore deal Jan 1 "on grounds of breach of pre-contract integrity pact and the agreement by AWIL (AgustaWestland International Limited)" and initiated a process to seize bank guarantees deposited in banks in Italy and India.

The deal was scrapped more than a year after reports said two top officials of the company allegedly paid bribes to bag the contract for the chopper-maker.

The AgustaWestland deal was inked in February 2010 for supply of 12 VVIP helicopters to the Indian Air Force.

(Posted on 06-08-2014)

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