India yet to decide on next move in AgustaWestland case

Singapore
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India's government has yet to make a decision about whether or not it will blacklist AgustaWestland following recent allegations of corruption related to a 2010 deal for 12 VIP-roled AW101 helicopters.

"A show cause notice has been sent to AgustaWestland, UK, on 15th February 2013 asking them to explain as to why steps should not be initiated for cancellation of the contract," defence minister AK Antony said in a written response to a question in parliament.

"The operation of the contract has been put on hold and further payments to AgustaWestland UK stopped. No decision to blacklist the company has so far been taken."

The statement indicates that the ministry of defence is awaiting results from an investigation by India's Central Bureau of Investigation before taking the next step.

Previous government statements have indicated that New Delhi wants to cancel the deal, even though the allegations against former Finmeccanica chief executive Giuseppe Orsi and former AgustaWestland chief executive Bruno Spagnolini have yet to be substantiated.

Finmeccanica and AgustaWestland vehemently deny any wrongdoing related to the deal.

So far, three of the AW101s with VIP roles have been delivered to India, with the balance to be handed over by the end of 2013.