The ministry of civil aviation has handed over to the CBI letters from Airbus in which the aircraft manufacturer committed to investing $175 million in India.
The letters are part of a set of documents handed over to the agency, which registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) to investigate how a clause requiring Airbus to invest the money (about Rs 788 crore) for training and repairs facilities was glossed over in an agreement signed with Indian Airlines. The 2006 deal was for the sale of 43 aircraft valued at $ 2.2 billion.
“All agreements, documents and papers pertaining to the deal have been provided to the agency,” said a ministry official on condition of anonymity.
The enquiry, as reported by HT, has been filed against unnamed officials of the ministry and Indian Airlines (IA).
It appeared that some ministry officials and IA had colluded, resulting in the signing of a purchase agreement in clear deviation from the decision of the empowered group of ministers (EGoM), the agency said in the PE on January 14.
The agency files PE after it is convinced there is material evidence to investigate a case.
Arguing that no case could be made out, the official said Airbus had installed three simulators for A320s at the training facility in Bangalore. Another was being installed.
As per the minutes of the EGoM meeting, Airbus was to invest $75 million in a training centre. “Two more simulators would be installed as and when business picks up,” he said. Classrooms and technology and avionics’ equipment were also being set up. The investment would exceed $75 million, the official claimed.
As for investing $100 million for a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility, the official said a joint venture was coming up. Once a revised business plan between European Aeronautical Defence Systems and Air India would be ready, a note would be put up for cabinet nod.