No quality issue with Chinese parts for home-made artillery gun Dhanush: Govt
MoS defence Subhash Bhamre said the state-run Ordnance Factory Board had suspended business dealings with M/s Sidh Sales Syndicate that had supplied the bearings to Jabalpur-based Gun Carriage Factory for the indigenous gun.Updated: Mar 05, 2018 23:33 IST
The government on Monday said there was “no adverse observation” regarding the quality of Chinese parts supplied as German made by a Delhi-based firm for the homemade Dhanush artillery gun.
The firm is facing a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Responding to a question in Rajya Sabha on the supply of “fake Chinese parts” for the guns, minister of state for defence Subhash Bhamre said the state-run Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) had suspended business dealings with M/s Sidh Sales Syndicate that had supplied the bearings to Jabalpur-based Gun Carriage Factory (GCF) for the indigenous gun.
“There is no adverse observation regarding the quality of bearings,” Bhamre said.
The CBI had booked the firm, along with unidentified GCF officials, last July for selling fake Chinese spare parts for the guns — the Indian version of the Bofors that performed exceedingly well in the 1999 Kargil war.
The probe agency registered an FIR for cheating and forgery against unknown officials of GCF, accusing them of a criminal conspiracy with Sidh Sales Syndicate.
The junior defence minister said an anonymous complaint was lodged in a case of procurement of six wire race roller bearings purchased from the firm by GCF for fitting on the 155mm 45-calibre Dhanush gun.
The army plans to buy 114 guns in the first phase and eventually induct 414 systems at a cost of over ₹4,500 crore.
“As per the purchase order, these bearings were to be sourced from M/s CRB, Germany. Preliminary investigation has revealed that the bearings supplied by M/s Sidh Sales Syndicate, Delhi, were manufactured by a Chinese firm and not by M/s CRB, Germany,” Bhamre said.
The OFB has referred the case to the CBI for a detailed enquiry as recommended by the board’s chief vigilance officer, he said.
The firm supplied two bearings each on three different dates in April, May, and August of 2014 after submitting documents to GCF that showed the bearings were made by German firm CRB Antriebstechnik.
The CBI said that the bearings provided had ‘Made in Germany’ embossed on them, and even though tests conducted on them failed, the parts were accepted after assurances made by Sidh Sales that it would provide free service if the bearings did not perform well.
It later emerged that the German company did not manufacture the bearings and the parts supplied were bought from Sino United Industries based in China’s Henan province.