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India confirms trade bans on more than 20 firms

The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has disclosed that more than 20 local and foreign defence firms face bans and restrictions on supplying equipment to the Indian armed forces.

A notice published by the MoD on 20 September said that six companies have been “debarred”, 15 firms face trade suspensions, and that “restricted procurement” orders have been imposed on two companies.

According to the notice, the six debarred companies comprise Singapore Technologies Kinetics, Israel Military Industries, Rheinmetall Air Defence (Zurich), Corporation Defence from Russia, and Indian firms T S Kisan & Co, and R K Machine Tools.

The bans were imposed between April 2012 and September 2013. At that time, the MoD said the six firms were recommended for blacklisting by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) “on the basis of evidence collected against them” as part of a CBI investigation into defence procurement practices.

The companies that face suspensions include AgustaWestland International, Leonardo, IDS (Tunisia), Infotech Design Systems (Mauritius), Kelvin Engineering, Unitech Enterprises, Pilatus Aircraft, and Indian firms Aeromatrix Info, Shanx Oceaneering, Inter Spiro, Vectra Advanced Engineering, and Offset India Solutions.

According to the MoD, the dates of these suspensions range from August 2006 to August 2020.

The two companies that face restricted procurement measures include Rolls Royce and Tatra Trucks. These restrictions were imposed in 2014, said the MoD notice.

The MoD also said that it imposed a suspension on SARR Freights Corporation in February 2021 but that the order was pending a court hearing scheduled for January 2022.

All the companies named by the MoD have previously rejected allegations of wrongdoing.

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