AgustaWestland won deal despite rival quoting less
A CBI probe into the multi-crore VVIP chopper scam has revealed that the government gave the contract for 12 helicopters to AgustaWestland despite its closest competitorindia Updated: Oct 15, 2017 23:38 IST
A CBI probe into the multi-crore VVIP chopper scam has revealed that the government gave the contract for 12 helicopters to AgustaWestland despite its closest competitor, US firm Sikorsky, quoting Rs 1,738 crore less for the same deal.
The probe agency said that even though Sikorsky had quoted a much lower price, the firm’s bid was never opened as it was disqualified after the field trial of its choppers.
The CBI, which during the probe managed to access Sikorsky’s unopened financial bid, stated in the charge sheet: “It has been found that M/S Sikorsky had quoted its price amounting to $5,06,64,78,523 (equivalent to Rs 2,228 crore) for supply of 12 VVIP/non-VVIP helicopter whereas M/S had quoted its cost of Euro 592 million (Rs 3,966 crore) which is approximately 80% percent more than the rate quoted by M/S Sikorsky”.
The contract was given to AgustaWestland for Rs 3,726 crore in 2010. The choppers were to be used for ferrying VVIPs, including the PM and President, but due to graft allegations, the contract was cancelled three years later.
Following its probe, the CBI filed a charge sheet against former air chief SP Tyagi, his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi, lawyer Gautam Khaitan, alleged middlemen Christian Michel, Carlo Gerosa and Guido Haschke, former AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini and former Finmeccanica chairman Giuseppe Orsi.
The alleged irregularities in the trials and the role of CBI and Special Protection Group officers (SPG) who conducted them are also under CBI scanner.
According to CBI charge sheet, Sikorsky was disqualified during the field trial as part of the conspiracy hatched by Orsi, Spagnolini, Michel and others to ensure that the US firm’s financial bid is not opened and AgustaWestland gets the contract.
The CBI said that after the field trials were conducted, Michel had sent a report to a few of the other accused claiming that AgustaWestland had managed to edge past its competitors.
“..If the commercial bids of M/S Sikorsky are also opened then M/S Agusta would be in trouble since Sikorsky would submit in Dollar rates. He (Michel) further reported therein that he was consciously and deliberately trying to disqualify the competition at that stage only so that financial bids of Sikorsky are not opened,” read the CBI charge sheet quoting Michel’s report to Agusta bosses.