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Gorshkov price approval still not cleared by Government: Navy

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Admiral Gorshkov at Sevmash deck undergoing repair work.

NEW DELHI (PTI): With the completion of protracted talks between India and Russia to fix the cost of Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, the Navy said it was waiting for the government's approval to the final price.

"I cannot speak anything about the final pricing till the government's approval is announced," Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma told reporters here on Saturday.

"But, yes, for any of these major induction programmes, we have a price negotiation committee, which has done its job and a mutually agreed price has been arrived at," he said after a visit to the NCC's Republic Day Parade Camp.

During Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Moscow last month, the two countries finalised the price for the repair and refit work on the aircraft carrier that was bought by India in 2004 and rechristened INS Vikramaditya.

Though the ship was bought for USD 974 million at that time, the Russian shipyard Sevmash hiked its cost for the repair and refit work to demand an additional 2.9 billion in a two-year period since 2007.

However, after working out the cost of repair and refit, India was willing to pay only about USD 2.2 billion. The discussions between the two sides ended during Singh's visit and a "mutually agreed" final price has now been arrived at, though none in the government or the Navy is willing to hazard a guess on the figure at the moment.

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