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Rafale aircraft deal through Inter-Governmental Agreement with France strictly in accordance with Defence Procurement Procedure: Govt

In an official statement issued shortly after Congress chief Rahul Gandhi reiterated his allegations of corruption in the deal, the ministry said demands of Rafel deal details were unrealistic.

Edited by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: February 07, 2018 18:52 IST ]
Image Source : PTI Demands of Rafale deal details unrealistic, threaten national security: Defence Ministry

Ministry of Defence on Wednesday said that demand that the Government disclose the details and value of the contract for the Rafale aircraft contracted in 2016 is unrealistic.

In an official statement issued shortly after Congress chief Rahul Gandhi reiterated his allegations of corruption in the deal, the ministry said that the matter 'would normally not have merited a response but for the serious damage being caused by the misleading statements, sought to be repeatedly perpetrated on a serious matter of national security.'

Reminding that the UPA Government had also expressed its inability to disclose the price of various defence procurements, including in its responses to Parliament Questions during its term, the ministry said that the 'provision of exact item-wise cost and other information will reveal, inter alia, details regarding the various customizations and weapons systems specially designed to augment the effectiveness and lethality of the assets, impact our military preparedness and compromise our national security'.

Also read: PM Modi spoke for an hour in Lok Sabha but didn't say a word on Rafale deal: Rahul Gandhi

"Such details would also come under the ambit of the security agreement signed in 2008. Thus, in not revealing the item-wise details of the contract, the Government is merely following in letter and spirit the confidentiality provisions of a bilateral India-France Agreement of 2008 signed by the previous Government," the statement said. 

"As doubts are sought to be created about the 2016 contract for 36 aircraft, it is once again strongly reiterated that the deal secured by the Government is better in terms of capability, price, equipment, delivery, maintenance, training, etc., then that notionally negotiated by the then Government in a process it could not conclude in ten years."

The ministry further said that Rafale had been finalised as the final bidder by the previous government in 2012, thus, there was no need to conduct negotiations with a competing fighter jet manufacturer. 

As doubts are sought to be created about the 2016 contract for 36 aircraft, it is once again strongly reiterated that the deal secured by the Government is better in terms of capability, price, equipment, delivery, maintenance, training, etc., then that notionally negotiated by the then Government in a process it could not conclude in ten years, it said.

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