Hyderabad: In a significant development, the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has cleared the proposal for chopper assembling unit up by the Indian Rotorcraft Ltd (IRL), a joint venture between AgustaWestland and Tata Sons Limited.
The proposal to assemble AgustaWestland's Aw 119kx choppers has been kept pending repeatedly for over two years, without FIPB assigning any reasons.
"M/s lndian Rotorcraft Ltd, Mumbai has sought approval for (i) to incorporate the helicopter model as AW 119Kx in place of AW 119Ke, (ii) To change the foreign investor from M/s AgustaWestla nd N.V., The Netherlands to M/s AgustaWestland S,p.A, Italy as M/s Agustawestland N.V., The Netherlands merged into M/s AgustaWestland S.p.A, Italy, pursuant to an internal re-organisation through merger within the AgustaWestland group w.e.f January 1, 2014," FIPB said
while granting the approval.
When contacted, an IRL spokesperson had earlier not given direct answers to queries such as expected timeframe for the product rollout from the Hyderabad facility and investments.
"IRL, the Joint Venture with AW (AgustaWestland), is for assembling AW119Kx helicopters. IRL will export the assembled helicopters to AW for it to sell to its customers.
"The joint venture is yet to begin operations. IRL has no connections with the Indian Air Force purchase of AW101 helicopters," the spokesperson had said in an email reply.
IRL sought the FIPB clearance for changing the model of the helicopter to undertake final assembly of Agustawestland's helicopter for export to global consumers or offered to India civil market.
IRL also requested FIPB to change the foreign investor from AgustaWestland, the Netherlands, to AgustaWestland, Italy, as the Netherlands company merged into its Italian parent firm with effect from 1 January 2014.
The Finmeccanica-owned helicopter manufacturer, AugustaWestland had signed an MoU in 2009 with India's largest corporate house, the Tatas, to establish Indian Rotorcraft in GMR Hyderabad Aviation SEZ here.
The product form the Hyderabad facility was earlier expected to roll out in 2014.
Earlier, AgustaWestland was at the centre of controversies both in India and Italy following allegations of kickbacks to Indian officials to the tune of Rs 362 crore.
Updated Date: Oct 14, 2015 21:28 PM