Not scared of any ‘threat’: Government to Finmeccanica

Ravi shankar Prasad

 

NEW DELHI: Government today reacted sharply to scam-tainted Finmeccanica’s warning to reassess ongoing projects of supplying components to India, which has initiated process of blacklisting the Italian firm, saying no threat can scare it.

“If you have any queries on this, the Defence Ministry , in appropriate manner, will respond to it. But let me say one thing as spokesperson of the Union Cabinet that our government does not get scared of any threat,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

He was responding to a question on Italy’s Finmeccanica , tainted in the alleged VVIP helicopter scam , warning of reassessing its ongoing projects of supplying components and essential services if an “agreed and transparent solution” was not found in the backdrop of on-going blacklisting process.

In a statement yesterday, the firm said that despite the “context of uncertainty”, it has over the past few years continued to supply components and services essential to ensuring the operation of platforms and equipment for the Indian armed forces “in the spirit of cooperation”.

However, the company had said if there was no “agreed and transparent solution” then “the company will not refrain from assessing the situation given the limited size of the ongoing business in the country.”

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said the government has decided to cancel all ongoing tenders for defence equipment won by Finmeccanica as a precursor to blacklisting of the firm, which is being investigated for bribery in the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal.

Parrikar had said that only fresh capital acquisition was being cancelled and the firm would continue to conduct annual maintenance and supply spare parts for defence supplies already acquired.

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Meanwhile, a senior Defence Ministry official said: “If Finmeccanica has any issues, it can write directly to the Defence Ministry after which the ministry will take a look into the issue.”

 

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