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VVIP chopper deal likely to dominate British PM’s India visit

Publish Date: 18 Feb 2013, 12:20 PM
Last Updated: 18 Feb 2013, 12:23 PM
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British PM arrives on 3-day India visit
British PM arrives on 3-day India visit

Mumbai: British Prime Minister David Cameron arrived Monday morning on a three-day India visit during which will he meet captains of industry and hold talks with top leaders who are likely to seek more information on the VVIP helicopters scam involving an Anglo-Italian firm.
    
Cameron is likely to be pressed for more information on the Rs 3,600 crore helicopter scam involving AgustaWestland during his meetings with the leadership on Tuesday. The helicopters, three of which have already been delivered, were manufactured in southwest England.
    
The visit also comes in the wake of India taking steps to scrap the contract after Italian investigators probed allegations that aerospace group Finmeccanica, the parent company of AgustaWestland, had broken the law by paying bribes to foreign officials.
    
Cameron landed here at around 8.30 am and was received at the airport by Minister of Protocol Suresh Shetty and senior Maharashtra Government officials.
    
He is accompanied by a large delegation which includes CEO of top British corporates, Vice-Chancellors of reputed universities and senior Government officials, among others.
    
"In Mumbai, Cameron's programmes include visit to Hindustan Unilever headquarters, a luncheon meeting with business leaders, a visit to St Xavier's School and laying a wreath at the Police Memorial," an MEA statement said.
    
Cameron is also expected to attend a private function being hosted by a large conglomerate before leaving for the national capital, according to industry sources.
    
This would be his second visit to the country since he took over the mantle, with the first being soon after assuming office in May 2010.
    
In Delhi, Cameron will hold comprehensive talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues.
    
Besides the defence deal, other major issues expected to figure during Cameron's visit would include the Rs 12,000-crore Vodafone tax matter and the UK hosting a meeting between the Pakistan and Afghanistan Presidents.

(Agencies)

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  • Sunil Mishra18 Feb 2013, 00:00 AM

    As already planned, British PM begins his India tour on February 18. A top delegation of Chief Executive Officers of leading business houses and Vice-Chancellors of leading UK universities and senior officials are also expected to accompany British Prime Minister David Cameron on his official <a href="http://focuztours.com/">tour India</a>. There are said to be several official meetings and visits are planned during the British Prime Minister David Cameron’s tour India.