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Iraq bill fudge cloud

Washington, Dec. 12: An auditor has found that US defence conglomerate Halliburton overcharged the Pentagon by at least $61 million for fuel supplied to Iraq since the war.

Halliburton was earlier headed by Vice-President Dick Cheney and it was awarded Iraqi contracts worth several billion dollars without competitive bidding soon after the war.

The disclosure came as the White House tried to defuse a growing tide of criticism over its decision to ban countries like India from contracts in Iraq.

Pentagon auditors also revealed that Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root submitted a proposal for cafeteria services in Iraq inflated by a whopping $67 million. But the mismatch was discovered and the proposal rejected.

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