Italian defence major Finmeccanica has said its subsidiary Agusta Westland, which has been selected to supply 12 helicopters for VVIP travel in India, is not involved in any irregularity in the deal.
The clarification comes after Defence Minister A.K. Antony asked the Defence Secretary on Friday to look into the issue following reports of alleged corruption in the Rs.3,500-crore deal signed in February 2010.
“No notice related to the purported investigations has been served to companies and officers of the Finmeccanica Group, neither in Italy, nor in India. Finmeccanica furthermore declares that the companies of the Group have adopted organisations and ethical codes in line with regulations and best practices, aimed at preventing and banning any conduct not responding to proper management standards,” a company statement said on Monday.
It said AgustaWestland excluded any behaviour non-compliant with its Code of Ethics. “AgustaWestland is not involved in any irregularity concerning the supply of helicopters in India.”
The statement said contract negotiations started in September 2008 and concluded in February 2010, with a reduction in the value, compared with the original offer, and “without any additional price escalation to take into account after two years of delay from the originally forecasted contract effective date.”
The contract was awarded to AgustaWestland after a comprehensive technical and flight evaluation of the competing helicopters done by the Indian Air Force as per the Defence Procurement Procedures, the statement said.