Names of Tyagi’s three cousins have also figured in reports suggesting that they had also a role to play in clinching the deal
Former IAF (Indian Air Force) chief Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi, who is embroiled in the VVIP helicopter scam, today admitted having met one of the alleged middlemen but claimed innocence.
“I have met Carlo in my cousins’ place but when you say you have contact with him, then the answer is no. What connection could I have with him? I want to tell you that the whole process started after I retired. The entire process of evaluation, trials and contracts took place in 2010,” Tyagi informed media persons.
The former IAF chief denied allegations that he was paid bribes to swing a Rs3,600 crore deal for procuring 12 choppers from Italian firm Finmeccanica to transport VVIPS.
“I am innocent. These allegations are totally baseless and I am denying them categorically. The deal was signed in 2010 whereas I retired in 2007 itself,” he said.
Names of Tyagi’s three cousins Julie, Docsa and Sandeep Tyagi have also figured in reports suggesting that they had also a role to play in clinching the deal. He denied that his relationship with his cousins had any business dimension.
Asked if he had changed any specifications for the contract to favour Finmeccanica, Tyagi said the “staff qualitative requirements for the VVIP choppers were frozen in 2003, much before I assumed the office of Chief of Air Staff, and the IAF did not change any requirements after that.”
Reports today suggested that Italian investigators have alleged in a preliminary inquiry submitted in an Italian court that business conglomerate Finmeccanica bribed SP Tyagi when he was chief of the Indian Air Force to swing the controversial AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal in favour of the company.
After the arrest of Finmeccanica’s head on Tuesday in Italy in connection with the controversial deal, the Indian defence ministry ordered a CBI probe into the charges.
India is witnessing good interest in the retailing segment, ever since the government allowed 100% FDI in single brand retail last January
The finance ministry on Wednesday cleared four foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals in single-brand retailing, including that of Decathlon and Fossil Inc, worth around Rs750 crore.
The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), headed by economic affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram, in its meeting has also cleared the proposals of French fashion brand Promod, crockery maker Le Creuset and sports giant Decathlon.
India is witnessing good interest in the retailing segment, ever since the government allowed 100% FDI in single brand retail last January.
The proposal of Le Creuset, Fossil Inc, and Decathlon were for 100% FDI, while Promod sought entering the segment through a joint venture.
Decathlon alone would infuse foreign equity worth Rs700 crore, while Promod would bring about Rs30 crore and the American high-end accessories firm Fossil Inc plans to invest Rs22 crore investment.
The FIPB has recently cleared several major single-brand retail proposals including that of Swedish furniture-maker IKEA, British footwear retailer Pavers England, American luxury clothing retailer Brooks Brothers and Italian jewellery maker Damiani.
It is a debatable whether a healthy person really needs preventive health check-up. Today, you may be subjected to unnecessary CT scans in case you choose an advanced PHP. Customers should beware as an extensive check-up is not in your interest
Got your preventive health check-up done? If you wish to do so, ensure that you don’t end up with unnecessary tests to complete your allowed Rs5,000 tax deduction. Today, an advanced PHP (Preventive Healthcare Programme) can include CT scans which are not just unnecessary for a healthy individual, but can expose you to high levels of radiation. Choose your PHP carefully and not based on the heavy discount that it may offer.
Indus Health Plus offers a PHP with “Advanced heart check-up” of Rs26,000 at a discounted rate of Rs12,950. It includes CT Calcium Scoring and CT Coronary Angiography. But, the amount of radiation exposure from CT scans of coronary arteries to look for calcium build-up is an estimated 50 to 150 times the radiation of a chest X-ray; it is 600 times the radiation of a chest X-ray in case of CT angiography.
Moreover, there can be perils with these advanced tests interpretation. The key is in getting the right diagnosis. For example, a CT coronary angiography is a sensitive investigation and a wrong interpretation can put you through needless trauma. Dr Shreedhar Archik, consultant orthopaedic surgeon with Lilavati Hospital (Mumbai) says, “People reach old age of, say, 80 years because they are healthy. Often, we find them taking anti-cholesterol and blood thinning medicines without really needing it. Complications from drug usage (containing statins) lead to muscle pain. They are roaming around searching for a cause when it is not there. PHPs often suggest investigations to earn revenue.”
There is no limit to the PHP testing you can undergo. Indus Health Plus has a “full body check-up” package with MRP of Rs45,000 offered at Rs16,950 for individuals above 35 years. It includes CT Coronary Angiography, CT screening of the neck and even CT screening of the brain. If a totally asymptomatic young person wants to buy this package, s/he would be just flushing money down the drain and actually needs to get her/his brain checked! Moreover, a ‘complete’ PHP cannot rule out all the problems.
You will find value in the simple PHP offered by Indus Health Plus at quality diagnostic centres. For example, they offer Alpha health check-up package for ICICI bank customers at 45% discounted rate of Rs1,100 only. It includes CBC (complete blood count), ESR (Erythrocyte sedimentation rate), cholesterol, blood sugar (fasting), urine routine, ECG (Electrocardiography), Thyroid (TSH), kidney function (S Creatinine, Uric acid), liver function (SGPT, SGOT) and Calcium marker.
Hinduja Hospital offers a PHP Premium package (two days) for Rs10,000 (male) and Rs11,000 (female) for those over 40 years. You can opt for the lower end package “Comprehensive Regular” for Rs3,500. It includes all the tests mentioned above with addition of stool routine, chest X-ray, post-meal blood sugar, triglycerides, PAP smear (female), additional liver profile which includes Bilirubin, Gamma GT, Albumin, Alkaline Phosphate, Total protein and consultations with a surgeon (male) and a gynaecologist (female).
On 16th October 2012, The Times of India carried an article that said, “Annual health check-ups don’t necessarily save lives, says a new Cochrane review of medical trials. Be it overall deaths or deaths specifically from killer diseases such as cancer and heart ailments, the review said the check-ups don’t make much of a difference.” It echoes exactly what the learned Prof BM Hegde has been writing in his columns in Moneylife.
What do companies/hospitals involved in PHP think about the Rs5,000 limit for whole family? While the limit includes children, do they really need PHP which are targeted for 2-14 year old? Rs5,000 tax deduction can be utilized by splitting of it between husband and wife. It may be enough for decent PHP at mid-end hospital.
According to Amol Naikwadi, joint managing director, Indus Health Plus, “The amount allocated for a preventive health check-up for the whole family is Rs5,000. Keeping in mind the practical aspects of healthcare the amount is insufficient to carry out a comprehensive screening program that will not only include lab diagnosis but also high-end imaging to detect the possibility of NCDs (non-communicable diseases) at an early stage. We, therefore, want the tax deductible amount on preventive health check-ups to be raised from Rs5,000 to Rs15,000.”
There is a similar view from the Hinduja Hospital. According to Deepak Samant, director finance, PD Hinduja National Hospital and Medical Research Centre, “Looking at the present situation of inflation and cost, the deduction of Rs5,000 for a PHP is not enough. It should be at least in the range of Rs10,000 to Rs12,000.”