PM Narendra Modi’s hotline to Francois Hollande broke Rafale ice

With France unwilling to agree to offset clause, Modi’s phone call before COP-21 visit changed game

Written by Pranav Kulkarni | New Delhi | Updated: January 19, 2016 10:49 am
 narendra modi, PM modi, francois hollande, modi hotline to hollande, rafale jet deal, MMRCA, COP-21, paris conference, indian express PM Modi with French President Francois Hollande.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s direct intervention and dialogue with French President Francois Hollande late last year led to the thaw in the deadlock in the Rafale jets deal, it is learnt.

In November 2015, before he left for COP-21 climate conference in Paris, Modi spoke with Hollande and convinced the French President to agree to a 50-per cent offset clause, a defence ministry official told The Indian Express. While 30 per cent offset clause is mandatory in defence contracts of the quantum of the Rafale deal, an exception of 50 per cent was made in line with the earlier Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) deal, which was cancelled.

According to those in the know of the developments, France has offered the aircraft at a price at which its own air force buys the jets.
The Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for the deal is expected to be signed during Hollande’s Republic Day visit to New Delhi, beginning January 24. Once signed, the Rafale deal could be India’s biggest offset contract till date.

Modi had announced India’s decision to buy 36 Rafale jets during his visit to France last April. The Indian and French sides subsequently created two working groups to work out the fine print of the contract. While most of the details — financials, delivery schedules, add-ons and service schedules, among others — have been agreed upon, consensus could not be reached on the 50-per cent offset clause, which India wanted to help its domestic industry as part of the Make in India programme. France, however, had been contending that there is no mechanism for offsets in inter-governmental deals such as Rafale.

Prime Minister Modi was informed at this point and he used his rapport with the French President to break the deadlock,” the source said. “The French have now agreed to the offset clause.”

Inking of the IGA will be succeeded by follow-on contracts between private entities, which involves a joint venture between Dassault, the French aircraft manufacturer, and an Indian major. Sources said the Indian side has pressed for a delivery schedule beginning three years from the date of signing of the IGA. Six aircraft are slated to be delivered each year.

The Indian Air Force will raise two squadrons of the fighters, the first one being in Ambala.

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First Published on: January 19, 2016 2:00 am
  1. A
    Amit
    Jan 19, 2016 at 4:11 am
    Modiji has done good for the nation. People who are blaming first should give their report card of what good they have done for the society or nation at large all incapable person knows only to shout.
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    1. U
      US NRI
      Jan 19, 2016 at 11:38 am
      I wish some day kejriwal becomes a pm. Hopefully he will have learnt some diplomacy
      Reply
      1. U
        US NRI
        Jan 19, 2016 at 11:36 am
        Not everybody is bhakt. Most of us are against congress. If we had been tolerant to 60 plus years misrule then why can't we be tolerant to modi got for a clean rule..modi has failed on his promises but why are media esp. English media is so reactive to this govt
        Reply
        1. I
          Indiens.sont.des.imbéciles
          Jan 18, 2016 at 10:55 pm
          Brutal disinformation to cover up!
          Reply
          1. A
            Anil
            Jan 19, 2016 at 5:11 am
            Hollande is afraid of our Modiji now.
            Reply
            1. A
              amartya
              Jan 19, 2016 at 4:25 am
              offset jaye bhaand mein. pehle 70-80 rafales lao warna stan airforce bhi Indian air force ko aankhein dikhane lagengi
              Reply
              1. A
                Ash
                Jan 19, 2016 at 2:41 am
                you fricking racist moron
                Reply
                1. R
                  Rajesh
                  Jan 19, 2016 at 6:49 am
                  Now naturally all the CONgi dogs and AAPs will comes and abuse the PM, because they are opposed to anything good happening.
                  Reply
                  1. V
                    Victor
                    Jan 18, 2016 at 11:21 pm
                    Indians should be proud to have NAMO as the country PM.Great PM for a great country.
                    Reply
                    1. K
                      Karunakaran
                      Jan 19, 2016 at 12:17 am
                      A customer congratulating himself on contacting a seller? Only an attention-seeking moron can do it. Try selling something to Hollande, and then boast your achievements! All that this photoshopped, selfie-chaser, Gujjubhai has done so far is buying stuff, like the Rs 98,000 crores bullet train to benefit the Gujjus (to be paid by all the Indian taxpayers). India must get ready to welcome Mr Nitish Kumar as the next PM. Mr Nitish Kumar has cl and substance. The crouching, dokhla-eating Gujjubhai whose chin touches his chest, is only good to run after the goras for selfies, and provide photoshopped black to pink images of himself to the media. Is is purely disgusting. Even the political leaders of Nepal and Maldives are too dignified to run after the goras for selfies.
                      Reply
                      1. K
                        Karunakaran
                        Jan 25, 2016 at 10:26 am
                        Big news for the Rafale - at Rs 60,000 crores. The Bullet train to Gujjuland from Mumbai, hardly any news, but Rs 98,000 crores. Of course, all Indian tax payers will be paying for both.
                        Reply
                        1. S
                          Satyanarayana Gavarasana
                          Jan 18, 2016 at 10:50 pm
                          Modiji is working very hard!
                          Reply
                          1. K
                            K M
                            Jan 25, 2016 at 10:49 am
                            If Kethu becomes PM, then India will be reduced to the size of Delhi!! You want it?
                            Reply
                            1. M
                              manjunath
                              Jan 19, 2016 at 9:05 am
                              I wish Modi should focus on major national issues like this and stop thinking of trivial issues being generated /cooked by opposition within India ( which is of no use but in divisive in nature). Good work is being done by our PM no doubt about it.
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                S Subramaniam
                                Jan 18, 2016 at 8:37 pm
                                Great and we are of Narendra Modiji.
                                Reply
                                1. P
                                  Pravin Kulkarni
                                  Jan 19, 2016 at 5:54 am
                                  This is called commitment to governance and to country.
                                  Reply
                                  1. P
                                    Pratap Sen
                                    Jan 19, 2016 at 9:39 am
                                    All you Modi Bhakts. Tell me something. 13 month of continous decline in exports the last in Dec by over 13% year on year, Crude prices in international market down from 120$ per barrel to 28$ per barrel but Indians still paying for petrol and diesel at price equivalent to 80$ per barrel while the govt enriches itself by increase in excise duty on petrol and diesel, maximum increase in NPA of public sector banks in the last two years, stock markets in free fall,everyday farmer suicides and I can go on and on. Flip flop in foreign policy,relations spoilt with Nepal,Supreme court had to intervene reg cutback in social programs and a litany of other issues. Two years is over,talk of results not of efforts. Think whether the policies pursued are OK instead of being blinded by selfies and man ki baat.
                                    Reply
                                    1. P
                                      Pratap Sen
                                      Jan 19, 2016 at 10:12 am
                                      Dont be an . Payment to Iran is by private companies Essar oil and MRPL nothing to do with govt of India, when you cant answer facts you Modi Bhakts induldge in distortion and abuse. The money has gone to meet the budget deficit as that lawyer Jaitley masquerding as Finance minister budgeted 60000 Cr disinvestment in last budget but could do less than 20000 Cr.
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                                        Pratap Sen
                                        Jan 19, 2016 at 10:31 am
                                        You need to apply face cream and wear monogrammed pinstripe suits. I don't need burnol. Answer facts with facts and don't be a blind acolyte.
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                                          Col Ravindra
                                          Jan 19, 2016 at 1:17 am
                                          We need to be sympathetic to people having a fossilized mindset of dynasty era , who are totally cut off from present day Geo-Political-Economic diplomacy. I am sure all such people will grow up and mature soon to understand things. PM's initiative deserves all the praise for sealing Rafale deal.
                                          Reply
                                          1. D
                                            David
                                            Jan 19, 2016 at 12:36 am
                                            Mr. Karu... please stop winning. You sound so stale.
                                            Reply
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