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Navy chief declines to comment on CAG's Gorshkov report

PTI  Kochi, August 03, 2009
First Published: 19:27 IST(3/8/2009) | Last Updated: 19:29 IST(3/8/2009)

Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta on Monday declined to comment on the Comptroller and Auditor General report which had rapped the Defence Ministry for the cost escalation of Gorshkov aircraft carrier and questioned its prudence in buying the second-hand Russian warship.

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"I cannot comment on the CAG. CAG has a job to do and as Navy Chief I have a job to do," Admiral Mehta, who arrived here on a farewell visit to the Southern Naval Command, told reporters.

Mehta, who was replying to a query on the CAG observation on escalating cost of Admiral Gorshkov, however, defended the quality of works done on the ship, asserting that it would be a "fine ship" for the navy.

Refuting reports that he had defended the price hike of the warship, he said "there were reports that I defended the price hike, but I did not do so." In its report, CAG had slammed the protracted price negotiation for the Gorshkov aircraft carrier between India and Russia and rapped the Defence Ministry for the cost escalation of Rs. 7,207 crore (USD 1.82 billion) in four years.

It had also questioned the prudence of the Ministry in buying the second-hand Russian warship, which now comes at "half its life-span" and about "60 per cent more expensive" than a new aircraft carrier.

Asked about coastal security, Admiral Mehta said efforts were on for better coordination with all agencies responsible for coastal security.


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