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Govt to soon decide on minesweeper vessels' deal mired in row

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NEW DELHI (PTI): The government will soon take a call on a proposed defence deal of over Rs 2,000 crore for acquisition of eight minesweeper vessels from a South Korean firm with Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi reportedly opining that the tender conditions have been violated.

The deal has been stuck for long because of allegations of involvement of middlemen and the new government had sought an opinion from the AG.

Now with the opinion in hand, the government will take its next course of action soon, sources said here on Monday.

Vendors have to sign a pre-contract Integrity Pact stating that there will be no middlemen involved.

The Korean firm, Kangnam Corporation, was shorlisted during UPA tenure as it was the cheaper of total three firms that had bid for the proposal floated in 2008.

The Navy wants eight 800-tonne vessels with composite anti-magnetic hulls that can clear sea mines during war.

As per the proposal, two vessels would be imported from the foreign vendor for about Rs 2,300 crore, a cost that covers technology transfer to build the remaining six vessels at the Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL).

The Modi government had, in August this year, scrapped a seven-year-old global tender worth thousands of crores for the acquisition of 197 helicopters for the Army and IAF after the acquisition process was mired in allegations of corruption.

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India  Minesweeper  Defence  Deal  
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