Order enquiry into USS Trenton warship purchase: CPI-M

March 15th, 2008 - 4:21 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Saturday asked the government to order an enquiry into the purchase of a 36-year-old warship USS Trenton, in the wake of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)’s criticism over the move. “The government should order an enquiry and come out with a statement in parliament. It should assure the country that such dubious defence purchases will not be resorted to in the future,” the CPI-M politburo said in a statement.

A CAG report, tabled in parliament Friday, said that the Indian Navy bought the US warship without assessing it physically.

Censuring the Indian Navy on the purchase of the warship, the report said the decision for its acquisition did not appear to be “prudent” and that the Navy had kept many facts hidden from competent financial authority.

“The country would like to know why the government is going in for such defence deals with the US? Is it due to the pressure of the (George W.) Bush administration to buy US arms and defence equipment?” questioned the politburo.

The CAG has also asked why the ship of 1971 vintage was bought when the US Navy itself had concluded in 2003 that the ship was not suitable for modernisation and should be decommissioned in 2006.

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