Rejecting the CAG report on Rafale deal that was tabled in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said it does not mention the dissent note by negotiators and added he doesn’t think its worth the paper its written on.
Addressing a press conference after the Rajya Sabha was adjourned, Gandhi said the government’s argument on price and faster delivery of Rafale fighter jets has been demolished. The Congress chief alleged that the only reason for the new deal is to give Rs 30,000 crore to industrialist Anil Ambani.
The government and Ambani have rejected the Congress’ allegations on the fighter jet deal with France “The argument given by the prime minister for the new Rafale deal was price and faster delivery. This has been demolished,” he said, citing a note by officials.
“You say there was no scam, then why are you afraid of ordering a JPC,” he said, reiterating his demand for a joint parliamentary committee to look into the deal.
The much-awaited CAG report revealed that the Rafale deal signed by the Modi government to procure 36 fighter jets from France’s Dassault got 2.86 per cent cheaper price than what was negotiated during the previous UPA regime in 2007.
Without disclosing pricing details in absolute terms, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) also said the deal was 6.54 per cent expensive in terms of engineering support package and performance-based logistics for the Indian Air Force, while the training costs has got 2.68 per cent expensive than the 2007 offer.
The CAG also flagged the drawbacks of settling for a ‘Letter of Comfort’ rather than a sovereign guarantee by the French government and said Dassault benefitted due to absence of such guarantees.
The report, however, was silent on the issue of offset partners, which has been a key point on which the Congress has been attacking Narendra Modi-led government and has been alleging corruption in Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group getting one of the offset contracts.
(With PTI inputs)