April 22, 2021
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Confusing act
Polish minister’s letter further complicates ARV deal

Polish government’s position on Armoured Recovery Vehicle deal is all set to complicate the matter beyond repair as Indian Ministry of Defence is quite confused over the purpose of writing such a letter through official channel which can damage Bumar’s ARV deal.

The official letter, which was written by Polish Ministry of Treasury, is causing lot of confusion as it can further damage the already troubled ARV deal that can widen the scope of investigation into bribery allegations.

The CBI which is probing the role of former Chairman and Managing Director of BEML V R S Natarajan in ARV deal is quite baffled over the new set of evidence that suggests most of the crucial decisions were taken against established norms.

Now the official letter written by the Polish Government could be an effort to reassure India about continuation of its relations but the timing of this act is being perceived in the light of negative framework.

India and Poland, who had started a new relationship in the field of military cooperation, are now finding it difficult to move forward.

India and Poland had signed a deal for more than 200 Armored Recovery Vehicles at a cost of USD 275 million with Bumar last year.

Now the deal has come under scanner due to massive multiple scams involving BEML - the Indian partner for this deal.

After that the Indian MoD initiated a probe into the alleged kickbacks involving USD 50 million in the deal. Thus, the whole ARV deal is now facing uncertainty and this has the potentiality to damage the progress made by both the countries in the field of defence technology.

Interestingly, in response to Indian probe, according to Indian MoD sources, the Polish Ministry for Treasury has written a letter to Indian government which is being interpreted as asking for 'cancellation of the deal'.

The Polish ministry has however said that even if the deal is cancelled it will not impact India-Poland military cooperation. But the Indian MoD is surprised over such a letter which can be self destructive and create problems for both the countries.

The letter written by Polish Treasury Ministry- which looks after the Bumar Group and government controlled defence industry in Poland- has baffled the Indian MoD about the real intention of Poland.

The Indian MoD feels that Poland is showing adamant attitude towards the deal as India has already signed the contract.

On the top of it, MoD officials feel the letter can be a by product of internal rivalry among various ministries and departments in Poland.

While some Polish leaders want to restructure Bumar, others are not happy about any reform in the company.

Therefore, the collapse of Indian ARV deal may strengthen the hands of certain groups to be able to forcefully carry out reforms in Bumar. But the deal in India is now facing critical hurdles for the future of Indo-Polish military cooperation.