(Circulated by Vijay Prashad)


The advent of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) as the ruling party in 1999 shifted India’s policy from being pro- Palestinian to pro-Israel. Although BJP was defeated in 2004 and a coalition led by Congress came to power, this  pro-Israel policy has continued. Here is a case of a huge arms deal to purchase missiles, which can be made in  India. What is behind this deal?



The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M) has issued the following statement on  March 28, 2009:    The Rs. 10,000 crore (1 crore=10 million; 1 US$=Approx 50 Indian Rupees) missile production deal with an  Israeli company, the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), has now been exposed as a deal involving massive  kickbacks besides being an unnecessary contract. The Left parties had asked in a letter to the Prime Minister in  March 2008 that the $ 2.5 billion deal for developing a medium range surface to air missile with the IAI should  not be proceeded with in view of the fact that the earlier Barak missile deal with the same company is being  investigated by the CBI for kickbacks. The Defence Minister replied to this letter that if there is any impropriety  or violation of law, action would be taken (letters attached).    An investigative report by the DNA newspaper has exposed the fact that the Israeli missile deal involves a  “business charge” which is six per cent of the total value (approximately Rs. 600 crore). This makes it a  scam of ten-fold magnitude compared to the Bofors (this too was a Defense deal with Sweden when Rajiv  Gandhi was the Prime Minister)   Rs. 64 crore kickbacks.   


The Left parties had written to the Prime Minister again in February 2009 barely three weeks before the contract  was signed once again urging the government not to proceed with the deal (letter attached). The reason cited was  that the DRDO had already developed a missile system which was superior to the one being offered by the IAI  for co-production. The letter also reiterated that IAI should have been blacklisted just like the South African firm  Denel which is also under investigation for kickbacks .


Given the seriousness of the charges the government has to answer the following questions:   


1. The IAI had got the contract for the supply of Barak missile in 2000 during the NDA regime. The FIR lodged  by the CBI in October 2006 names IAI as an accused besides naming the Delhi-based arms dealer, Suresh Nanda  and other family members as agents of the Israeli firms IAI and Rafael Corporation. Why was the IAI not  embargoed from further supplies till the case was disposed off?   


2. Was the Government not aware that the Israeli authorities had  investigated the IAI for malpractices in  contracts with other countries? Such charges led to the head of the IAI stepping down in 2005.   


3. Was the Ministry of Defence not aware that an Indian agent of the Israeli company replaced by another  petitioned the Israeli defence ministry claiming additional commissions were due to him?   


4. What does the Manmohan Singh government have to say about the DRDO having developed and field proven  its Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile capacity? Why was the DRDO compelled to enter into the so-called  “joint development” of the IAI air defence missile when it already has its own superior AAD missile?   


5. Was the Manmohan Singh government not aware of the fact that like in the Barak missile deal, there are  middlemen and intermediaries involved who are being paid commissions/kickbacks? Was the government not  aware of identity of these agents?   


6. How does the Manmohan Singh government explain the six per cent “business charges” on the total value of  the deal? Is this not contrary to the stipulations against engagement of agents and payment of agency  commissions?   


7. Why is it that the contract was signed on February 27, 2009 and the fact was kept a secret? The information  about the date of signing has now become known from the IAI which has claimed that the Indian government  wanted the signing of the contract to be kept secret.   


8. Why did the government get the contract signed on February 27, 2009, just two days before the announcement  of the Lok Sabha elections?    The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) demands that the missile contract with the IAI be suspended and an  investigation be ordered by the CBI into the contract with the IAI which should be a follow up of the  investigations into the earlier Barak missile deal. 

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