Although Karginov finished 3rd in friday’s stage, he flipped his truck on his side not far from the finish. With saturday’s marathonstage disallowing any mechanical assistance, it will be hard for the KAMAZ mechanics to get the heavily damaged Kamaz in a good condition.
NEW DELHI: The government is open to reviewing cases of blacklisted defence firms on merit as it prepares a new policy that will allow foreign defence firms to legally hire agents, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has said.
He added that banned firms can be conditionally allowed to do business in the country. “Based on merit and necessity, one can think of lifting the ban to a reasonable level,” he said.
Parrikar said state-run Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) has been allowed to supply spare parts for Tatra trucks, as long as it does not deal with the British subsidiary of the company that was banned following irregularities in its deal with BEML.
He pointed out that one should not just go by the name Tatra as there are 3-4 companies which make the trucks.
“The company which has been banned is Tatra UK and we have permitted BEML to deal with the original company which is owned by different people now,” he said, adding the condition is such that it should not have relations with “questionable individuals”.
“A restricted Non Objection Certificate has been granted to BEML, because we do need for defence purpose Tatra vehicles. It has become critical for certain applications,” he said.
Heavy vehicle maker Tatra was banned in March 2012 after then Army Chief General V K Singh’s allegations that he was offered bribe to clear sub-standard trucks supplied by the company to the Army.
Meanwhile, the Congress has reacted sharply to the defence minister’s statement.
Senior party leader and spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, “It is a serious issue, the government should call an all-party meeting to take the views of other political parties. This is not a matter that can be decided through the Defence Minister’s off-the-cuff remark.”
Defence procurement in the country has been hobbled by charges of corruption and of illegal commissions pocketed by middlemen. It became a political storm with the Bofors’ Rs64-crore kickbacks story with Rajiv Gandhi losing the 1989 election. Ever since, arms purchases had become hot potatoes as it were. The Tehelka sting operation about payments to politicians and army personnel in 2001 had led the then defence ministerJaswant Singh in the NDA government to set up a committee under BG Verghese to evolve a clear defence procurement policy (DPP). Thirteen years later, Singh’s successor in NDA-II, Manohar Parrikar, has revealed that a new DPP will be announced soon.
Parrikar has also indicated that arms agents, he uses the term technical representatives, will be allowed to participate in the process of purchases. Ministry sources, according to agency reports, have said that these technical experts will be allowed a fee but no commissions or bonus on the purchases. It is easy to quibble over the terms and argue that middlemen in arms deals are being allowed in through the back door. But the need to be less rigid and more practical in these matters is dictated by the exigency that critical arms acquisitions are getting unduly delayed because of the controversies created around major arms purchases.
As part of this new pragmatic approach, the minister has allowed public sector unit, Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) to supply spare parts to Tatra trucks which involved partially lifting the ban against Tatra. UPA-II had imposed the ban after the then army chief and now minister of state for north-eastern affairs, VK Singh, claimed that Tatra offered a bribe to him. Parrikar has found a technical way out of the impasse saying that it was Tatra UK, a subsidiary of the mother company, which was banned and there is no restriction in dealing with the other units of the company. Again, it is possible to criticise him saying that this is but a fig leaf. It has been found that Tatra trucks are crucial for the army and it is to deal with this pressing need that the ban has been partially lifted.
Parrikar’s pragmatic approach is free of his party’s shrill rhetoric against corruption when it was in opposition, and his willingness to take decisions based on the country’s security needs. He is not taking the rigid position that any company which has been blacklisted will always remain on the list. He has given enough indications that there will be a review of those decisions. As a matter of fact, this makes a lot of sense because an erring foreign arms company should be penalised for breaking rules, and the penalties imposed should be punitive so that giving and taking of bribes will become counterproductive. It should not be kept away if its wares are crucial for the armed forces.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to make India an arms manufacturing hub will take time to take root and become a reality. In the meanwhile, there is no escape from making huge defence purchases from foreign companies. The need then is to establish these purchases on a firm and clear footing. There is need for an open debate on the issue of arms agents and the commissions they get paid by the companies they represent. Ways have to be found to prevent the commission amount being factored into the final price.
The first bumby stage with the new engine behind us!
Excellent power, enormous torque, beatiful race together with extreme navigation.
All that is Breslau RALLY.
Our major target is to test the new engine and new setting of suspension. The first stage of 71km went excellent. We started as the last participant and finished first. We passed more than 40 trucks and cars.
Even our biggest truck rivals from the Dakar couldnt particape, it is a beautiful race and test in one.
The InstaForex Loprais Team is now preparing for the night stage which starts at midnight. I fully believe that my navigator Ferran Marco will make it well as he did the first stage of today…said Ales Loprais.
Alliance Loprais Buggyra Dakar Forces was considering taking part in alternative events as a substitute for the traditional after Dakar the second most difficult event Silk Way Rally 2014 which was cancelled earlier in the season.
After receiving information that the Silk Way Rally in the territory of Russia will be cancelled, we started communicating with competition and our partners. Together we came to a conclusion to take part in a very interesting event in Poland particularly the RALLY BRESLAU. Beside our team, the registration was confirmed also by other teams from Holland, Poland and Germany.
“This event will mean a significant enrichment of our season and I believe that our friends and fans from the Czech Republic and other countries as well will find their way to support our team since after a long time they will have a chance to watch Dakar monsters in action close by” said Ales Loprais.
Considering the European standards, this event will be impressively longer, lasting from July 12th till July 19th and being held in Poland which has rich experience with organizing off road events.
The second event which stood out for us was the well-known BAJA HUNGARIA which is also one of the events of the FIA official calendar events. This event is shorter yet very attractive for the fans with the possibility of watching the racing in specific sections of the track where the fans can see from one place couple interesting sections of the race at once.
RALLY BAJA HUNGARIA takes place August 14th -17th and becomes then the second European event where you could meet the InstaForex Loprais Team.
Currently, the team is working on implementing the new unit Gyrtech into the special Queen 69 and on preparing for the two upcoming events.
Artur Ardavichus and Tomáš Vrátný successfully completed Rally Dakar 2014! Both crews of the team Bonver Dakar Project finished in tied 12th and 28th place in the last stage. Pep Vila Roca completed the last stage in exactly the same time as Artur. Congratulations and thanks to all of you for your support!