Our Bureau

Hyderabad, Sept. 1

THE German auto major, Volkswagen, is all set to return to the Andhra Pradesh Government a sum of Rs 11.7 crore siphoned off by Vashista Wahan, a special purpose vehicle created for the purpose of establishing the car factory at Visakhapatnam.

Company officials have conveyed to the authorities their decision to return the money "owning moral responsibility".

The Indian representative of Volkswagen, Mr Frank Elbe, a former German Ambassador to India, will be visiting Hyderabad in a week to hand over a cheque for the amount. He has sought an appointment with the Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

The entire deal ended up in a huge controversy when the company found out that its earlier Indian representative, Mr Helmut Schuster, was involved in several unauthorised transactions here and elsewhere. The State Government received flak and asked for the CBI inquiry into the scam.

However, sources in the Government said that while this was a welcome development, they were more interested in Volkswagen establishing a unit at Visakhapatnam as planned earlier.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 2, 2005)
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