BEL's CMD bats for EVMs
Bengaluru, Jun 1: Navaratna Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd Saturday asserted that electronic voting machines manufactured by it were "non-tamperable" and "not a single case of mismatch" between EVMs and VVPATs were reported in the Lok Sabha polls.
Defending EVMs over allegations of tampering levelled by opposition parties during the recently-concluded general elections, BEL CMD M V Gowtama told reporters here that the "storm" created by political parties before the polls has died down. "We didn't have even a single case of mismatch reported between EVMs and VVPATs. So, that is the greatest achievement...I assure you that the EVMs manufactured by BEL are non-tamperable and no mischief can be played with those EVMs," he said.
Asked about doubts raised by the opposition parties about mismatch between votes polled and counted, Gowtama said, "The storm created before the elections has died down post-polls, by all political parties.They all knew very well that these machines cannot be tampered with."
Observing that democracy in India can only survive by using EVMs, he said the voting and VVPAT (voter-verified paper audit trail) machines ensure that no rigging takes place. "If any candidate has any apprehension or doubt, he is free to approach court after elections, within 45 days...that option is available to the candidate," he added.
In around 400 of the 542 constituencies that went to polls this time, EVMs were supplied by BEL.The rest were supplied by ECIL, the company said. Roughly 10 lakh plus sets of control units, ballot units and VVPATs were supplied by BEL in the previous fiscal, it said. Noting that the company generated Rs 2,600 crore in revenue from the Election Commission's order of EVMs, Gowtama said, there are no pending orders from poll panel. "However we are expecting orders from state governments for different elections during the current year and they may not exceed Rs 100 crore," he said.
BEL has recorded a turnover of Rs 11,789 crore during FY 2018-19, registering a growth of 17 per cent over the previous year turnover of Rs 10,085 crore. The profit after tax was at Rs 1,927 crore as against Rs 1,399 crore in the previous year, while the export turnover was down at USD 21.6 million against USD 26 million in 2017-18, the company said.
The order book value of the company as on April 2019 stood at Rs 51,798 crore compared to Rs 40,115 crore in April 2018. BEL acquired Rs 23,431 crores of orders during 2018-19, it added. Responding to a query on the long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM), Gowtama said the company is sitting on an order for 11 ship-sets for LRSAM and they are planning to deliver the first ship-set during March 2020.
The system is jointly designed and developed by DRDO and IAI-Israel, and BEL is a partner. On BEL's contribution for assembling satellites for ISRO, the CMD said recently the company has completed assembling and testing of one satellite for remote earth monitoring and it is expected to receive orders for some more during the current year. Pointing out that the fare collection gates at metro stations are closed loop ones, Gowtama also said for the first time in India, BEL along with C-DAC has designed a gate, which has now been internationally certified, and they would be installed at metro stations across the country in a phased manner from the current year.
"As part of the National Common Mobility Card programme (single card can be used anywhere) of the central government, these gates are getting ready... they are one loop gates," he added.
Diversification in non-defence opportunities would drive BEL's growth, he said, adding that the focus would be on space electronics, solar, home land security, smart cards, telecom, railways, civil aviation, Li-Ion Batteries among others, Gowtama said.