CBI still probing Tatra deal: Government
New Delhi, Mar 11 : The Indian government on Monday said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is still investigating the alleged irregularities into the Tatra trucks deal.
"CBI is conducting investigation into the irregularities in the Tetra truck deal," said Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh in a written reply in Lok Sabha on Monday.
He said, as informed by CBI, the investigation is basically related to the following points:
(i) Tatra Trucks were not purchased from the original manufacturer during the period 1997 onwards and BEML failed to achieve 100% indigenization in the last 24 years as first agreement was signed with M/s Omnipal in 1986 and all documents for indigenization were received by BEML.
(ii) BEML converted the payment currency from USD to Euros on the request of TatraSipox UK limited, the supplier firm and this action resulted in loss of Rs.4 crores to BEML.
(iii) BEML did not levy Liquidated Damages (LD) charges on the TatraSipox UK limited and this resulted in loss of Rs.9.27 crores as LD was claimed by Ministry of Defence from BEML for late delivery of goods.
"Letter Rogatories (LRs) are being sent to various countries and the investigation will be finalized on receipt of replies from the concerned countries," said the minister.
Former Army Chief Gen. V K Singh had alleged that ex Lt. Gen. Tejinder Singh had offered him Rs 14 crores as a kickback for approving a contract for 600 "sub-standard" military trucks.
The allegations, that pointed towards Czech vehicle manufacturer Tatra, appeared even more inflammatory after he added that 7,000 such vehicles were already in use in the army and that they had been sold over the years at exorbitant prices, without anyone questioning it.
U.K. based Vectra group, which is the largest shareholder of the consortium Tatra Holding s.r.o. that owns Tatra, refuted the charges of bribery, asserting that in India it deals exclusively through government undertaking BEML and therefore does not need lobbying.