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Airports' revamp: Pranab rejects scam charges

He said that the bids were re-evaluated or else only one bidder would have been left for the two airports.

india Updated: Feb 11, 2006 15:59 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee has rejected charges of scam in the bid process relating to modernisation of Delhi and Mumbai airports.

He said that the empowered Group of Ministers had "re-evaluated" the markings of the technical bids for increasing number of bidders, thus negating chances of a scam.

"We wanted to re-evaluate the markings. Eighty per cent was qualify mark from technical and development point of view.

"We did it because, otherwise, there would have been only one bidder left for the two airports," Mukherjee, who headed the eGoM, said in an interview.

Asked to comment on Left charges that the bid process smacked of a scam, Mukherjee said "they have a totally different perception. They did not want any private party involvement.

Therefore, they considered that Airports Authority of India should be entrusted with the job".

The eGoM chairman said that there was "no compromise and the bidders were chosen taking technical competence as also the financial bids into consideration. The Government's revenue was also considered".

To a question on "changing of the whole bid process", he said "what we had decided was that at least one who qualifies should be chosen and given the option. We did exactly that. In any case, these type of bids may go to court. After all, going to court is a fundamental right, and if one is not satisfied, one has to go to court to demand justice".

He said that besides technical aspects, "there were other aspects of the financial bids. That is when we reduced the numbers. There were four bidders for each airport. It was not one or two. We had to chose between four".

First Published: Feb 11, 2006 15:59 IST