Agencies, New Delhi Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today conveyed to his British counterpart David Cameron India’s ‘’very serious concerns’’ at the alleged ‘’unethical’’ means used in securing AgustaWestland helicopter contract and sought his ‘’full assistance’’ in investigating the issue.
Mr Cameron assured him of his Government’s cooperation in the investigations. The matter was raised by the Prime Minister during delegation-level talks with Mr Cameron here. In his statement after the delegation-level talks, Dr Singh said he had told Mr Cameron that India had also sought an explanation from the company by February 22 to examine whether the contractual provisions on unethical practices and the Integrity Pact had been violated. ‘’I also conveyed to Prime Minister Cameron our very serious concerns regarding allegations about unethical means used in securing the 2010 contract for AgustaWestland helicopters…I have sought full assistance from the UK in this case.
Prime Minister Cameron has assured me of the cooperation of his Government in the investigations,’’ Dr Singh said. The British Prime Minister who is currently in India on a three-day official visit, arrived here from Mumbai for talks with Dr Singh. He had arrived in Mumbai yesterday. A senior official of the External Affairs Ministry said UK had conveyed to India an ‘’interim response’’ on the issue and said they were waiting for Italian authorities to complete the investigations.
Meanwhile, India and the UK today decided to commence negotiations on a bilateral Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement while India sought Britain’s support in ensuring early conclusion of a ‘’fair, balanced and forward-looking broad-based’’ India-EU Trade and Investment Agreement. The issues came up during delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his British counterpart David Cameron who is currently in India on a three-day official visit.
The two leaders also discussed enhanced cooperation in the development of India’s Defence industrial base through greater emphasis on technology transfer, co-development and co-production. ‘’I have sought Prime Minister Cameron’s support in ensuring an early conclusion of a fair, balanced and forward-looking Broad-based India-EU Trade and Investment Agreement which will open new opportunities for trade and investment between our two countries…We have also decided to commence negotiations on a bilateral Civil Nuclear Agreement,’’ Dr Singh said in his statement after the delegation-level talks.