Mumbai: India's ministry of defence (MoD) has put on hold the country's first public-private partnership in warship construction following complaints from other private shipyards about the lack of transparency in the process. Even as the MoD put out a statement to this effect, state-owned Mazgaon Dock Ltd (MDL), one of the parties to the deal, expressed ignorance about any such move.
MDL, the country's largest defence shipyard and private shipbuilder Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering had agreed earlier this month to jointly construct warships and submarines for the navy and also to explore other such opportunities.
According to the MoD statement, the government will now wait for a policy to be formulated that would guide formation of such partnerships. "The defence ministry has decided to put on hold the joint venture of Mazgaon Dock Ltd (MDL) till a policy on JVs is put in place by the government," defence minister AK Antony said in the statement.
The statement also said the ministry would look at the complaints received from some private shipyards regarding the JV.
According to Antony, JVs must compete for contracts and should not get them on nomination basis. "The issue needs to be settled before any forward movement takes place," he added.
Mazagon Dock, however, said it was unaware of any such development. "We have no information regarding any action taken with regards to the deal," said Mazagon Dock CMD HS Malhi.