More troubles are mounting on the Congress party as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is expected to shortly summon UPA ministers for an investigation in connection with an alleged scam involving a purchase contract of Airbus aircraft for Air India (then Indian Airlines), reported News 18.
According to the reports, few senior ministers of the UPA government are under ED’s scanner over the purchase of 43 aircraft by Air India from the French aerospace giant Airbus. The ED during its investigation has found that there were some irregularities in the deal signed between the UPA government and the Airbus.
It is reported that Airbus did not deliver on some of its contract obligations. Along with delivery 43 aircraft to Air India, Airbus was supposed to set up Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) and training centre as mandated by the contract. But the aircraft manufacturer did not set up MRO centre getting an undue benefit of $175 million.
The proposal to open an MRO centre was cleared by the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) of the UPA era by then Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel and HR Bharadwaj. Even though the EGoM had cleared the proposal of the mandatory clause of setting up of MRO centre by the Airbus, it was missing in the final deal.
Recently, the ED had also summoned Airbus executive Vice-President Kiran Rao and six others accused of money laundering in a 13-year-old Rs 8,000-crore deal. However, Kiran Rao resigned from the Airbus after he received the notice to appear before the ED.