France dissatisfied, but not complaining
A fortnight after the Indian Govt scraps the Rs 17,000 crore deal, France says it will take part in fresh bidding.india Updated: Dec 21, 2007 17:16 IST
France on Friday expressed dissatisfaction with the Indian decision to scrap the deal with European defence company Eurocopter for purchase of 197 Fennec helicopters but it is not complaining and will participate in the fresh bidding.
A fortnight after Indian government scrapped the Rs 17,000 crore deal alleging that Eurocopter had "deviated" from procedures, visiting French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said the France-based company will participate in the second bidding process as it is confident of winning it.
"I am not satisfied," he told journalists in New Delhi referring to the Indian government's argument that the deal was scrapped because of "procedural questions".
He said the matter came up for discussion during his meeting with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday when he was told about the Indian position.
To a question, the French Minister said the Indian decision can be protested against but there was no use.
"Yes, we can complain but it is useless to complain," Kouchner remarked in reply to a query.
"So we have to participate in the new bidding process," he said, adding "we will certainly win."
Eurocopter is a France-based defence unit of European Aeronautic Defence and Space (EADS), a consortium of several European countries.
Government on December 6 scrapped the deal with Eurocopter, accusing it of "deviating from approved parameters" of the choppers urgently required for the Army.
Under the deal, Eurocopter was to supply 60 helicopters off the shelf and the rest 137 were to be manufactured in India under technology transfer.