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Demand to disclose Rafale deal details 'unrealistic': MoD attacks Cong

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Feb 7, 2018, 7:14 pm IST
Updated Feb 7, 2018, 7:20 pm IST
The ministry asserted that such a provision would impact the nation's military preparedness and compromise national security.
The MoD also reminded the Opposition that it was under the rule of the Congress government that there an alarming decline in IAF’s fighter strength. (Photo: AFP/File)
 The MoD also reminded the Opposition that it was under the rule of the Congress government that there an alarming decline in IAF’s fighter strength. (Photo: AFP/File)

New Delhi: The Ministry of Defence on Wednesday said that "unfounded allegations" were being made regarding the 2016 Inter-Governmental Agreement to procure 36 Rafale aircraft from France. 

It said a massive damage was being done by misleading statements, sought to be repeatedly perpetrated on matter of national security.

 

The MoD in a statement said that the demand by the opposition parties to disclose details and value of the contract for the Rafale aircraft contracted in 2016 was "unrealistic".

"The approximate acquisition cost of the Rafale aircraft has already been provided to the Parliament," the MoD statement said.

The ministry asserted that such a provision would impact the nation's military preparedness and compromise national security.

"The provision of exact item-wise cost and other information will reveal details regarding various customizations and weapons systems specially designed to augment effectiveness and lethality of assets," the statement read.

 

Such details would also come under ambit of security agreement signed in 2008, it said.

It said that in 2012, the then Defence Minister AK Antony exercised unprecedented personal veto on laid down institutional process then underway for procurement of 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft.

The MoD also reminded the Opposition that it was under the rule of the Congress government that there an alarming decline in IAF’s fighter strength.

In not revealing item-wise details of contract, the ministry said, the Govt was merely following in letter and spirit the confidentiality provisions of bilateral India-France Agreement of 2008 signed by the Congress-led government.

 

The statement also maintained that there was no provision for transfer of technology but only to manufacture under licence.

It said the Government was unable to agree on terms for even that in its negotiations with the vendor, resulting in a long-drawn exercise under earlier government, ultimately turning futile.

Reacting to the Congress allegation on why an Indian private company with zero experience in aviation was chosen as an offset partner to manufacture Rafale jets, the MoD said no offset partners has been selected so far.

"No Indian Offset Partner for '16 deal for 36 Rafale Aircraft so far selected by vendor (DA) bcoz as per guidelines, DA is free to select Indian Offset Partners & provide their details at the time of seeking offset credits, or 1 year prior to discharge of offset obligation," it said.

 

Earlier on Wednesday, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on questioned Modi’s silence on Rafale deal. He also targeted Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for her remarks that the details on Rafale Deal cannot be disclosed since it is "classified".

Gandhi attacked the Government for not making public the prices of Rafale fighter aircraft, and charged that there was a "scam" in the deal.

Also Read: Rahul Gandhi calls Rafale deal a ‘scam’, says Modi personally got it done

Gandhi's attack comes two days after Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had refused to share the details of the deal on the grounds of security agreement signed between India and France.

 

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Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi




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