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CAG faults high costs in VVIP chopper deal

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said the process of acquiring VVIP choppers for the Indian Air Force (IAF) deviated from the laid down procedures and caused delays.

BT Online Bureau   New Delhi     Last Updated: August 13, 2013  | 00:00 IST

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said the process of acquiring VVIP choppers for the Indian Air Force (IAF) deviated from the laid down procedures and caused delays.

The government auditor's report, tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, also said the IAF continued to face operations disadvantage on account of use of ageing helicopters as the acquisition was delayed.

The Central Bureau of Investigation is looking into alleged kickbacks in the $750 million (Rs 3,600 crore) deal for 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters for the IAF's elite Communication Squadron, which ferries the president, prime minister and other VVIPs.

"The benchmarked cost adopted by the contract negotiating committee was unreasonably high compared to the offer cost," CAG said in its report.

The scam came to light when the Italian government arrested chopper maker Finmeccanica's CEO Giuseppe Orsi in February for allegedly paying bribes to clinch the deal.

A case has also been registered against former IAF chief Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi.

With inputs from IANS

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