New Delhi: It was almost written on the wall as soon as Adani Defence appeared to be the last moment bidder for Indian Navy’s biggest ever submarine project worth 45,000 crore. Adani Defence and Aerospace had made a surprise entry into the bidders’ list at the last moment for this contest-referred to as P 75I- despite having no experience at all in the submarine manufacturing. At that time Hindustan Shipyard too had made a standalone bid for the contract. Later on, everything took place like a script and Defence Watch reported on that too.
Now Economic Times has reported that a tussle has erupted between the Ministry of Defence and Indian Navy over the participation of Adani in the shape of a joint bid. Indian Navy has shortlisted MDSL and Larsen and Toubro as the final contenders while did not consider Adani Defence and Defence PSU Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL) as the administrative permissions are not in place for the joint venture.
The P 75I will see an Indian shipbuilder producing six submarines with a foreign technology partner.
According to the report after an examination of financial records and manufacturing facilities of all the domestic bidders, the navy’s empowered committee has shortlisted two Indian entities that would qualify to bid for the project—state-owned Mazagaon Docks Ltd and private sector giant Larsen and Toubro—both of which have considerable experience in shipbuilding. On the other hand, all five foreign technology collaborators who applied have been cleared to take part in the competition.
Indian Navy has shortlisted MDSL and Larsen and Toubro as the final contenders while did not consider Adani Defence and Defence PSU Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL) as the administrative permissions are not in place for the joint venture
However, a third bid that was jointly made by Adani Defence and state-owned Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL) has not been cleared on the grounds that administrative permissions are not in place for the joint venture that responded to the competitive process. This has emerged as a point of contention, with the Department of Defence Production, under which HSL operates, asking the navy that the HSL-Adani bid also be considered for examination. The department has recommended this on the basis of procurement rules that state that cooperative arrangements between public and private sector companies should be considered.
Now the final call on the matter has to be taken by the decision-making body of the ministry of defence which is slated to meet by the weekend.