Doubts raised incorrect and misleading: Sitharaman over HAL statement in Parliament 

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 07, 2019, 12.38 PM (IST)

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday told Lok Sabha that "doubts raised" over her statement on HAL contracts are "incorrect and misleading."

The Union Minister added that she had received a confirmation from HAL on contracts signed worth Rs 26,570.80 crore during 2014-18 and other orders in the pipeline worth Rs 73,000 crore.

"I have received confirmation from HAL that contracts during 2014-18 worth Rs 26,570.80 crore have already been signed with HAL. Orders worth Rs 73,000 crore approx are in the pipeline," she noted. 

Meanwhile, the Congress chief took to Twitter on Monday stating that it isn't surprising that HAL doesn't have enough money to pay its own employees.

rahul gandhi

Sitharaman's comments came a day after Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday accused her of lying in Parliament about procurement orders worth Rs 1 lakh crore for state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). 

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In her counteroffensive, Sitharaman said it was a matter of “shame” that the Congress president was misleading the country on the issue. She also tweeted details of the contract awarded to HAL since 2014 when the BJP came to power.

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“It’s a shame that the president of @INCIndia is misleading the nation. HAL has signed contracts worth Rs 26570.8 Cr (Between 2014 and 2018) and contracts worth Rs 73000 Cr are in the pipeline. Will @RahulGandhi apologise to the country from the floor of the house?” the defence minister tweeted out.

Earlier, Gandhi alleged that she “lied” in Parliament that government orders worth Rs one lakh crore were provided to HAL while demanding that she should either place the documents in support of her statement in the House or resign, news agency PTI reported. 

Gandhi’s attack came after a media report claimed that “not a single rupee of the said Rs 1 lakh crore has come to HAL, since not a single order, as claimed, has been signed till now”.

(With inputs from PTI

Story highlights

The Union Minister added that during 2014-18 she had received a confirmation from HAL on contracts worth Rs 26,570.80 crore that had been signed and other orders in the pipeline worth Rs 73,000 crore.