Responding to Rajya Sabha member V Vijayasai Reddy’s question in the house about working capital assistance to the Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HCL) from the Defence Ministry, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said ‘No’, and she further stated, ‘No’ to MoU between the South Korean Shipbuilding industry and HCL.

Vijayasai Reddy on Monday asked the Defence Minister to respond whether it is a fact that the Prime Minister had assured of giving Rs 20,000 crore as working capital to HSL in 2014, as part of Make in India initiative?

The member also asked the minister to reveal the reasons as to why the Defence Ministry is not pursuing the assurance in spite of the fact that HSL is struggling to get working capital and looking for Central assistance whenever it gets any new order and whether the Ministry has entered into agreements with Japan and South Korea for buying ships, instead of giving orders for construction of ships to HSL?

However, the Defence Minister said ‘No’ all the questions raised by the member. Expressing his deep dissent over the Defence Minister’s answers, Vijayasai Reddy in a press release said that the government has given orders for constructing warships to the Reliance Defence, L&T and gave some share to the HSL in the orders.

However, the centre not agreed to provide financial help to the HSL for working capital, Reddy said. During the past two years, the centre and HSL authorities are saying that Hundai Shipyard and HSL will jointly construct five warships.

The first vessel will be constructed at South Korea, while the four ships would be built up at HSL in Visakhapatnam. However, the Defence Minister informed the Rajya Sabha member that there is no such MoU with the Korean company. Vijayasai Reddy said that he would write a letter directly to the Defence Minister to reveal detailed information on his questions. After getting the detailed information, he said he would react accordingly.