Sunday, May 4, 2008

Indie nie chca popelniac Polskiego bledu z Ameryka - sprawa F16 Offset

Indie nie chca popelniac Polskiego bledu z Ameryka - sprawa F16 Offset

W Polsce Firma Lockheed Martin z USA kreci naszych polytykow niezaleznie zjakiej partii a Hindusi szybko sie ucza na naszych bledach.

Ministry examining case with Poland on technology transfer


NEW DELHI: The Defence Ministry has decided to resist western pressure by sticking to direct offsets in the revised defence purchase policy. However, it partially conceded to their demands by including two new concepts in the offset clause called banking and transfer of technology, highly placed sources said, adding that they were taking a close look at recent global examples of major offset work, especially the one in Poland involving fighter aircraft.

Offsets are a crucial element in ensuring development of the Indian industry as the armed forces actively shop for military hardware and platforms all over the world. Under the offset policy, a certain percentage of the value of imports must benefit the Indian industry. The clause was deployed in fits and starts when first unveiled in a new Defence Procurement Policy in 2006 by the then Defence Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, but pursued vigorously by incumbent A.K. Antony as a tool to enhance the capabilities of the Indian industry.

In fact, to the chagrin of six foreign companies participating in the $10 billion (over Rs. 40,000 crore) fighter tender, Mr. Antony directed the hiking of the offset percentage from the usual 30 to 50 per cent. And, he has indicated that all big ticket imports in future will attract 50 per cent offsets. However, the debate on banking of offsets is yet to be settled and the concept of transfer of technology remains to be further refined.

Two options

Under banking, a company can credit offsets from one military project and utilise it for meeting the offset obligation for another project. On banking, the Ministry is considering two options — whether to restrict banking to five years or have a 10-year validity.

On technology transfer, the Ministry is examining the case with Poland involving the import of 48 fighters from the U.S. which gave rise to allegations of impropriety, since denied by the company, Lockheed Martin. According to information forwarded by the Foreign Office, the Polish offset clause has attracted charges of not benefiting the local industries and universities. Some of the technology was outdated, modern software not made available to a partner Lodz University and political pressure snuffed their misgivings. Consultation over the phone was treated as fee-paying and included in the offsets.

Diplomats have also forwarded statements by the former Ministry of Economy chief, Jerzy Hausner, and Polish Council on Aviation chairman T. Hypka as saying the offset programme gave practically nothing to the Polish economy. The government auditors have also stated that they would examine the offset programmes.

‘Largest programme’

Lockheed Martin, which sold the 48 F-16s to Poland and is in the race for the 126-fighter Indian tender, said it was “pleased with the progress of the offset programme in Poland.” At $6 billion, it is the largest offset programme ever undertaken, the company said, adding that over $4 billion in economic benefits have been confirmed by the Polish government, less than half way through the 10-year programme.

“The purposes of offset programmes range in scope from securing technology transfer to creating new export markets and jobs, and in some cases, direct investment. The government of Poland has approval authority over what projects are included in the programme, and the credit value of each project. Lockheed Martin has completed more than $38 billions in offset obligations in more than 40 countries, all without default or penalty,” the statement added.