The government has taken two major Israeli firms
- Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI)
off the list of armament companies with which only “restricted business dealings” are allowed due to pending corruption cases. This means that the two firms can carry out their business in India.
Why Firms were in Restricted List ?
- The firms were added to the restricted list after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had named them in a FIR lodged in 2006 to probe corruption charges in the procurement of the Barak missiles.
Barak Missile & Armament Scandal :-
- The deal worth Rs 1150 crore was signed in 2000 with IAI to provide the Barak missile systems and the armament by Rafael.
- The CBI had investigated corruption charges against former defence minister George Fernandes and businessman, Suresh Nanda.
- However, the agency filed a closure report in 2013, claiming that it does not have enough evidence to prove that bribes were paid.
However, in spite of being on the restricted list the two firms have been involved in defence deals in India. Last year, the IAI was awarded a $630 million contract for supplying Barak 8 Long Range Surface to Air Missile System for four Indian Navy ships. Rafael has been providing replacement missiles for the Barak systems installed on Indian ships.