Responding to the alleged involvement of agents and lobbyists in the placement of orders for the Tatra trucks, BEML chief V.R.S. Natarajan said that over the past 26 years, from 1986 onwards, BEML had assembled, manufactured and supplied 7,000 Tatra trucks. “All of them have been done on a single nomination basis [and] a single inquiry basis. This type of equipment nobody in the world makes, because of its superior technological features. When I am the single vendor and there is no competition, there is no influence required.”

Countering allegations about the pricing of Tatra trucks, the BEML chief said these trucks had “flexible axle,” compared with those with “fixed-axle,” and were technologically superior, boasting features like air-cooled engines.

In recent field trials conducted by the Army, Mr. Natarajan said, fixed-axle trucks that had missiles mounted on them got stuck in the desert; the Army had to seek the services of Tatra trucks to pull them out. However, he did not name the manufacturer of “fixed-axle” trucks but indicated that the Army had relaxed qualitative requirements in this case.

More In: National | News