Rafale deal: France lowers price, India calls for further cut
Deccan Chronicle | DC Correspondent
Speculation is already rife that France wanted about 11.5 billion euros for the deal, while India wanted the cost to be lowered.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande travel by metro train to Gurgaon. (Photo: PTI)
New Delhi: France has lowered the price for 36 Rafale fighters below the earlier one that Dassault, the jet’s manufacturer, had originally offered when India was negotiating the acquisition of 126 Rafale aircraft, but India wants the price to be lowered further according to its expectations, top government sources said. They added that there was no reason why the cost issues could not be resolved in the next six to eight weeks.
All options on Rafale are open
India will not be bound to any timeline on the Rafale deal, sources said, indicating that all options were still open on negotiations with other sellers in case the financial aspect was not eventually clinched. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is, however, in favour of the resolution of the cost issues with France so the Inter-Governmental Agreement can be concluded in its entirety, and so New Delhi is not looking beyond France for the moment.
Read: Agreement signed to Rafale jets, will sort out financial aspects soon, says Modi
It may be recalled that the European EADS Eurofighter was the only other vendor besides Dassault which had fulfilled the technical parameters of the IAF when India was originally acquiring 126 medium multi-role fighter aircraft.
Read: France wants 11.5bn euros for Rafales, India to play waiting game over price
Speculation is already rife that France wanted about 11.5 billion euros for the deal, while India wanted the cost to be lowered to about eight billion euros.