In a punitive action against Reliance Naval
engineering for the delay in supply of
five offshore patrol vessels, Navy has encashed a bank guarantee of the company
in the Rs 3,000-crore contract and the
deal is being examined.
"There is no preferential treatment being
given to RNEL. Its bank guarantee has been encashed. Punitive action has been
taken against it. The process is being taken forward," Navy Chief Admiral
Sunil Lamba said at a press conference.
The Navy chief was asked about the huge delay in
delivery of the vessels by RNEL and whether the Navy is under any pressure to
not initiate any action against the company.
Admiral Lamba said the deal is not being
cancelled at the moment, but added that it is being looked into, indicating
that government may take a call on the issue.
"It has not been cancelled at the moment but
the contract is being looked at and is being examined and what we need to do
with it," said the Navy chief. The company is undergoing corporate debt
There was no immediate reaction from RNEL about
the Navy chief's comments.
Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence has been at the
centre of a controversy over the Rs 58,000-crore Rafale jet fighter deal. The
Congress has accused the government of favoring the company. The company as
well as the government have rejected the charges.
The original contract for the five naval offshore
patrol vessels (NOPVs) was won by Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering in
2011. The company was bought over by Anil Ambani group in 2016.
According to the original contract, the first
vessel was to be delivered by early 2015. However, the deadline was pushed
RNEL was the first private sector company to
obtain the licence and contract to build the patrol vessels. The vessels were
to be armed with 76mm Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM) system.
The primary role of NOPVs is to undertake
surveillance of the country's vast Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) besides
operational tasks such as anti-piracy patrols, fleet support operations,
maritime security of offshore assets and coastal security operations.