Brig I.M. Singh tells Outlook how he was hounded out of the Master General Ordnance branch for initiating inquires into BEMLs functioning.
I was posted to MGOs branch in April 2003 and my portfolio included management of in-service equipment relating to vehicles, including the Tatras. As part of this I visited the BEML sometime in mid-’03. What I saw was that BEML is only a conduit, getting semi-knocked down vehicles which after some fitting of nuts and bolts were supplied to the army. This job could be done at our base workshops servicing the Tatras.
Following my visit, I sent a written communication to BEML making the following queries:
- Forward a copy of transfer-of-technology signed between BEML-Tatra
- The procurement price details over the period (to find out purchase price and what army was being charged)
- Indigenisation content achieved, in terms of major assemblies and components and financial value of the same
- Role of Tatra Sipox (UK) for, to our knowledge, Tatra was a Czech vehicle
The very next day, the first visitor to my office at 9 am sharp was BEML’s representative in Delhi. His opening line was, “Sir, yeh kya kiya. Sab bahut mushkil mein pad jayenge.” I knew what he meant. I was replaced from the contract negotiating committee for ARVs shortly after and my successor was asked to cancel the letter of September ’03 to BEML.