In January, 2014, India terminated the Rs3,600 crore contract to buy 12 AW-101 ( AgustaWestland) helicopters for the Indian Air Force (IAF), after corruption was reported in the deal. However, by November 2012, three of the choppers had already been delivered and were being flown before their formal induction.Fresh details that tumbled out on Friday in the ongoing controversy points to the fact that the firm still owes India money paid in down payment for the three units. This amount is to the tune of more than 100 million Euros, reports suggested.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Currently parked at Delhi’s Palam Air Force base, the three choppers are not in use since the cancellation of the contract. However, by this time, they had already been flown for close to 600 hours in the run up to their formal induction.This doesn’t concur with then UPA government’s claim that the entire Rs1,818 crore paid to the firm was recovered through bank guarantees.Notably, a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report tabled in Parliament in August, 2013 said that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) bent rules for the purchase of VVIP helicopters, worth Rs3,727 crore from the Italian firm.It also questioned the Air Head Quarters for failing to prepare a proper estimates of the requirement. Pointing to procedural lapses, CAG questioned why the MoD deviated from the Defence Procurement Procedure and from the provisions of the deal tender issued in September, 2006. CAG also pointed that it found no justification for increase in the original requirement of helicopters from 8 to 12.The contract negotiation committee in Agusta deal had put a benchmark cost of Rs4,877.5 crore which was six times more than the cost estimated by the government. The final offer cost given to the firm was Rs 3966 crore. CAG in its then report, underlined this inflated benchmark cost which was higher by 22.80 percent.

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Does AgustaWestland still owe money to India for three choppers?