Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman 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.
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.
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.
There was another report which said HAL was even struggling to pay salaries to its employees and have taken loans to tide over the crisis.
Sitharaman rejected the charges, and said HAL has signed contracts worth Rs 26,570.8 crore between 2014 and 2018 and contracts worth Rs 73,000 crore are in the pipeline.
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