Two defence deals during Gen V K Singh's tenure under scanner

Two defence deals during Gen V K Singh's tenure under scanner

Two defence deals during Gen V K Singh's tenure under scanner

Two defence procurement processes initiated during the tenure of former Army Chief Gen V K Singh are under the scanner following allegations of irregularities.

While the process to procure anti-aircraft ammunition from a Bulgarian firm is under the Defence Ministry's scanner, the other related to manufacture of Armoured Recovery and Repair Vehicles (ARRV) is being reportedly looked into by Polish authorities.

In the first case, Army had floated a tender to procure ammunition last year during Gen V K Singh's tenure for Russian-origin ZU-23 anti-aircraft guns to meet operational requirements, Defence sources said.

The Bulgarian firm had emerged as lowest bidder but before the contract could be finalised, it was found that the company was not manufacturing ammunition, they said.
The Defence Ministry is looking into the allegations, the sources said.

Gen V K Singh had highlighted the shortage of ammunition for tanks and obsolescence of air defence equipment in the force in a secret letter written to the Prime Minister.

After the matter was highlighted, the Defence Ministry has taken several steps to do away with the shortage of ammunition and equipment in the force.

In the second instance, Polish authorities are probing a deal where BEML was to manufacture 204 ARRV vehicles under full technology transfer from Polish arms firm Bumar for Army's T-72 tanks, Polish media reports suggested.

The procurement was given a go-ahead by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) in October last year. Polish media reports suggest that authorities there have found the deal to be non-profitable as the Indian partner, BEML, was cornering a significant amount of the deal worth over Rs 1,000 crore.

According to the reports, it has also been found that the then head of Bumar had entered into the deal without the approval of the company's Board.