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Coast Guard staff had role in swinging deal with ABG


Arun Gopalakrishnan,CNN-IBN
Dec 19, 2007 at 01:53pm IST

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Porbandar (Gujarat): A CNN-IBN investigation into the acquisition of three Pollution Control Vessels by the Coast Guard revealed that the Comptroller and Auditor General has slammed the force for a Rs 368 crore deal which is now more than 15 months behind schedule.

ON further investigation CNN-IBN has found out how bid costs were done on incorrect forex calculations and how Coast Guard officers violated all service rules.

Dinesh Joshi used to work with the Coast Guard and as per the documents found out by CNN-IBN it says:

  • The Coast Guard accepted his resignation on May16, 2005.

  • Two weeks later, he joined ABG Shipyard on June 1.

However, services say that Joshi could as per Coast Guard service rules, “accept commercial employment only two years after retirement.”

And it was a serving officer who blew the whistle.

“The department was not taking any action regarding changes in the specifications. Despite filing this complaint, they are still sitting on it,” says the Coast Guard officer (name withheld).

There are now questions about how ABG got this deal ahead of Goa Shipyard and GRSE Kolkata, both public sector firms who have built ships for the forces.

Officers however, allege that two servicemen had a role in swinging the deal.

A CAG report confirms that facts rules and procurement procedures were manipulated to favour ABG.

While ABG Shipyard claims it's bid was 38 per cent lower, the CAG Report says the ABG bid was calculated at February 2002 Foreign Exchange rates, while Goa Shipyard's bid was calculated at September 2003 exchange rates.

The result ----an escalation of Rs 59 crore in GSL's bid.

While the payment due was Rs190 crores, ABG was given 221, a mystery gift of Rs 31 crore.

In response ABG says:

    Civilian Coastguard Officers don't fall under the lock-in period rule.

  • That the officer concerned had government permissions.
  • And that ABG had the lowest bid.

While the Coast Guard is now waiting for the delivery of at least the first ship it is least aware that those persons who were once part of its force are the same persons who are now milking it dry.

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