India says no decision yet taken to cancel AgustaWestland deal
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India has not taken any decision so far on cancelling a $770 million helicopter deal with British-Italian company AgustaWestland after accusations it bribed officials, India's defense minister told parliament on Wednesday.
Defense Minister A.K. Anthony has in the past said he did not believe AgustaWestland's denial it paid bribes to swing the deal for the purchase of 12 helicopters for top politicians.
Ministry officials have said the deal was set to be scrapped, but any push to tear up the contract could meet resistance from other cabinet colleagues.
"While the operation of the contract for procurement of 12 VVIP/VIP helicopters has been put on hold, no decision has been taken so far to cancel the contract," Antony said in a written reply to the upper house of parliament.
He said the Central Bureau of Investigation had registered cases against the AgustaWestland, Finmeccanica and four other companies but investigations were still in progress.
AgustaWestland, a unit of Italy's Finmeccanica (SIFI.MI) says the deal must go to arbitration.
- U.S. small businesses borrowed more money in January than they did a year earlier, signaling continued growth in the economy despite a spate of cold weather that has been blamed for weakness in many other indicators of activity.
BEIJING/HONG KONG - China reiterated its opposition on Thursday to a European Union plan to limit airline carbon dioxide emissions and called for talks to resolve the issue a day after its major airlines refused to pay any carbon costs under the new law.