Cancelling Eurocopter deal got AK Antony enemies

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Yusuf, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    NEW DELHI: The decision to scrap the Rs 3,000-crore Eurocopter deal at the last minute in December, 2007, might have been the flashpoint that convinced arms lobbies that defence minister AK Antony was a serious thorn in their flesh.

    Antony took the tough call to cancel the order for the 190-odd attack helicopters for the Army due to irregularities in the bidding process and deviations from established procedures and this brought home to defence lobbyists and vendors, who were used to having their way, that it would not be business as usual anymore.

    Sources said the Eurocopter decision sent shockwaves through the defence and business establishments as the contract was all but sealed and the firmness with which the French government's vocal protests were ignored induced a sense of panic among arms-dealers and lobbyists.

    Long used to peddling influence so that shortlists and seeding were altered and technical parameters re-jigged to disadvantage rivals, the new regime in the defence ministry after Antony took charge began to bother several interests. Soon, Antony was accused of slowing down defence acquisitions due to his fear of taint.

    The charge of a defence freeze is contested, with official sources pointing out that budgets have been utilized. Even last year, 66% of the defence budget was utilized by December, while around Rs 3,000 crore had to be returned to the finance ministry due to a resource squeeze affecting the central government.

    With his political mandate aimed at keeping the government free of "scam", Antony acted without hesitation whenever a serious complaint was brought to his notice, making it plain that he would not hesitate to scrap a deal or order fresh tendering.

    The Eurocopter deal was not a flash in the pan. The defence ministry's insistence that all bidders for the Rs- 100,000 crore 126-aircraft contract for the Indian Air Force fulfill excruciating technical parameters that would be the sole criteria for finalizing the deal made big names in the business nervous.

    The failure of in-house lobbying and the exclusion of US F-16s and F-18s from the race along with the Russian MiG 35 at the technical evaluation stage led to outrage, with the Indian government politely, but firmly ruled out any reconsideration of its decision.

    Sources familiar with proceedings said it was odd that criticism was leveled that India was "restricting" the race after the rules of selection were plain to all the bidders. The refusal to allow "geo-political" considerations to influence the deal left foreign suppliers and their Indian partners distraught and disbelieving.

    The decision to blacklist Singapore Technologies Kinetics following corruption charges was yet another major friction point that disrupted the cozy co-habitation between arms-dealers and both civilian and military officials. "The government could hardly have pretended that nothing was happening," said sources.

    With a series of decisions indicating policies benefitting select vendors and procurement procedures open to manipulation were being replaced by a more predictable and level-playing field, the utility of power brokers itself became questionable.

    http://m.timesofindia.com/PDATOI/articleshow/12576932.cms
     
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  3. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Looking at the sweet talk VKS & Antony are having for each other, I will not be surprised if they are united against some nasty lobby.
     
  4. plugwater

    plugwater Elite Member Elite Member

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    Fvcking Anthony!! He is just cancelling and blacklisting everything without choosing the alternative.
     
  5. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    He did a good job, the LCH is good enough for the army. Let them stick to that and not cheat everyone.
     
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  6. plugwater

    plugwater Elite Member Elite Member

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    Oi!! Bad reporting, he cancelled the deal for LOH/LUH!! HAL's LOH is atleast 8 years from IOC if everything goes well. I think HAL is still undecided about the engine.
     
  7. arya

    arya Senior Member Senior Member

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    well its so great first open a tender then cancel that .

    every one is playing game he is just defence ministry public servant not master
     
  8. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Make more HAL Dhruvs..

    Push LOH further from just a mock up..
     
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  9. arya

    arya Senior Member Senior Member

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    unless our force give chance to local product how will then improve .

    we can use our local product to fill the number gap requirement and also can take from other countries

    the same thing china did in past
     
  10. nasavsisro

    nasavsisro Regular Member

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    Yes i also wants that indian domestic product in military. we don't want to called Biggest Importer .

    Kill the corrupt people in india :)

    and V.K singh should be next Prime Minister of india ;)
     
  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The problem is that the arms lobby is quite ingrained into the system and have their moles within and at high places.

    Therefore, most deals will get tainted.

    The moral dilemma is that should one allow corruption or should one clean it.

    Anthony is in a Hamlet like situation - to allow or not to allow.

    In the end, the arms lobby will win and Anthony will be shown the door!

    Survival against big money apparently is real difficult.
     
  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Unfortunately, they will not allow private companies to flourish.

    It will kill their cash cows - the Defence PSUs - which sustain them.

    Who will allow the gloden goose to be killed?
     
  13. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    At least one thing Antony has always been well regarded for, honesty, not suggesting that corruption might not have happened all these years but this chap has given his best shot. This does raise a question mark on most of the previous raksha mantris be those of which ever government.

    Certain people have been asking for his head for long now, if we can target MMS for his role on 2G, one should give credit to him to have retained Antony under all such pressures.

    On the question of modernisation for which Antony has faced some flak, what gets ignored is that the IN has modernised well, so is the IAF, and on the allegation of unspent/unused defence budget, it is abundantly clear it has happened so because the ministry of finance has always limited the extent of budget to check the mismanaged fiscal situation.

    Of course, vested interests in media will tell us stories otherwise, as such those campaigns are well financed, but the man has lived up to what he was supposed to do, not to forget, had this man not been around, a lot of key home grown projects would have bid a goodbye.
     
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  14. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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    Cheers to Antony Gonsalves .. ma man !! :fyeah:
    Jokes apart .. In the recent decades, we've had some good Defense Ministers (Antony, Fernandes), good Foreign Affairs ministers (Jaswant Singh) and good Finance ministers (Chidambaram).
    Its hight time we get a good PM :stirpot:
     

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