Sitharaman meets HAL officials
New Delhi: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday met the top brass of the aerospace major HAL and assured them of all required assistance to help the firm come out of the current financial crisis, official sources said.
Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba and IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa were among those present at the meeting, they said.
The meeting came amid increasing attack on the government by the Congress following reports of severe financial crisis in the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) which produces a variety of attack helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.
HAL Chairman and Managing Director R Madhavan apprised Sitharaman about the financial condition of the public sector undertaking and steps being initiated to overcome the difficulties.
It is learnt that he has requested the IAF to clear the pending dues which is in the range of around 15,000 crore, the sources said.
Replying to the debate on the Rafale deal in Parliament, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last week said the government had
provided HAL orders worth Rs 1 lakh crore.
Days later, 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". The media report cited senior HAL management officials in order to back its claim.