The bank guarantees of Reliance Naval and Engineering Limited, which has an order to supply five offshore patrol vessels, have been encashed, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba said on Monday, asserting that the group was not being given preferential treatment.
At his annual Navy Day press conference, the Navy Chief was responding to a question on whether action was being taken against the Anil Ambani-run firm for late delivery of these vessels.
According to reports, the Rs 2,500 crore order for Naval Offshore Patrol Vessels was bagged in 2011 by Pipavav Defence, which was taken over by Reliance Naval.
The first ship was to be delivered by early 2015. However, the first two ships were only launched in July last year.
The Navy Chief denied that there was pressure to protect RNEL. "There is no preferential treatment being given to RNEL. Its bank guarantees have been encashed by the Navy, so punitive action has been taken against RNEL," said Admiral Lanba.
"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.
NDTV did send Reliance Naval Engineering Limited a set of questions on the naval chief's comments. They have indicated to us that they are unlikely to answer questions on this contract.
Disclaimer: NDTV has been sued for 10,000 crores by Anil Ambani's Reliance Group for its coverage of the Rafale deal.
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