Congress alleges massive scam in $8.7-billion Rafale aircraft deal

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on November 14, 2017

Says Modi govt buying jets at an inflated price, promoting interests of Reliance Defence Ltd

The Congress has alleged that a “huge scam is brewing” in the procurement of fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force.

The Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said here on Tuesday that the purchase of Rafale fighter aircraft from French company Dassault Aviation was marred by the lack of transparency, violation of the ‘Defence Procurement Procedure’ and without transfer of technology to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and ‘blatant promotion’ of financial interests of alleged ‘crony capitalist friends’ of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Surjewala said the Centre had compromised national interests and national security on the matter and accused it of a “conspiratorial silence” on the entire deal.

Surjewala said the Centre is buying 36 Rafale aircraft at a “highly inflated” price, compared to the original base price negotiated by the UPA government.

“Is it correct that UPA government negotiated 126 Rafale aircraft at a base price of $10.2 billion with transfer of technology? Is it also correct that Modi government is buying 36 Rafale aircraft without transfer of technology for $8.7 billion? Does it not mean that 126 Rafale aircraft would have cost $30.45 billion (without transfer of technology) at the price arrived at by Modi government?” he asked.

Surjewala asked why did Modi promote the interests of Reliance Defence Limited, which has led to the company tying up and entering into a joint venture with Dassault Aviation worth ₹30,000 crore. “Why was this done by Prime Minister bypassing the interests of a reputed public sector undertaking like HAL?” he asked.

“Why has the joint venture for the biggest-ever Indian defence deal between Dassault Aviation and Reliance Defence Limited not gone through the proper procedure of approval by the Cabinet, Cabinet Committee on Security and Foreign Investment Promotion Board?,” he asked.

Published on November 14, 2017
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