New Delhi, Mar.29: One of the partners of a company that manufactures and sells Tatra trucks to the Indian Army, has criticised Chief of Army Staff, General V.K.Singh, for delaying a deal for 1,500 trucks over alleged procurement related doubts.
Ravi Rishi of the Vectra Group, which has a controlling stake in Tatra, said that there was nothing improper or illegal about previous Tatra truck-related procurements and went one step further to suggest that General Singh was more inclined towards giving the 1500 truck deal to another competitior called Ural.
The Tatra trucks have been used as missile carriers in the Indian Army for years. General Singh has questioned the procurement process and the maintenance facilities related to Tatra trucks.
In General Singh’s view: “The Tatra trucks were not being manufactured here. No one asked why. No one asked why a subsidiary bought them from the manufacturer and then sold them to the defence PSU and the defence PSU gave them to us.”
According to Rishi, Tatra trucks are manufactured by a government-owned company. Each truck costs between Rs.80 lakh and Rs.88 lakh.
After assuming office in the early part of 2010, General Singh had discontinued the purchase of 788 trucks.
Rishi said that charges against Vectra were baseless and unfounded as large orders from the Indian Army come only after one year or one and a half years.
He felt that General Singh may have blocked the Tatra deal for his own personal interests.
“I believe he has ulterior motives, I cannot believe the Indian Armed Forces does things like this. When he was in Kolkata, I believe he was a great friend of the Ural trucks. In fact, he tried Ural trucks with the Indian Army even without even having permission, and not following procedures. So, he was doing this also, he was doing this at the behest of the Ural trucks,” Rishi told the television channel Times Now. (ANI)