‘CAG’ revealed reports on ‘RAFALE’, Congress not buying it

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‘RAFALE’ is definitely going to be the jet fighter that every Indian would surely ‘identify’ because of its ‘dominance’ in the headlines from last couple of months.

After, Rahul Gandhi alleged the ruling Modi-led government of buying ‘RAFALE’ costlier than it was decided in the UPA regime, also, buying 36 aircrafts instead of 126, which was the previous requirement under their ‘regime’.

He also alleged PM Narendra Modi of acting as a ‘middleman’ of Anil Ambani because of the fact that Anil Ambani’s recently established ‘Reliance Defence’ being the offset partner for manufacturing ‘RAFALE’. He further went to attack Modi in the recent times saying “CHOWKIDAAR CHOR HAI”.

Previously, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited(HAL) was listed in the deal. HAL is a reputed Indian Institution with decades of experience in Defence projects.

In a recent press conference, Rahul Gandhi said, Also read: Rahul Gandhi says Modi ‘middleman’, countercharged with ‘lobbying’

Now, new to the utterly controversial ‘RAFALE’ row, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Rajiv Mehrishi’s report was tabled on Parliament on Wednesday , the ‘Auditor’ found that the deal signed by Modi government in the year 2016 is 2.86% cheaper than the deal signed previously by the UPA government, to buy 36 aircrafts from France.

The report says that there is no difference in the cost of the basic aircraft.

And particularly the ‘India Specific Enhancements’ are 17.08% cheaper than the earlier deal. However , it also mentioned that 4 of these ‘enhancements’ are not to be required as per the technical and staff evaluations by the ‘Indian Airforce.’

Speaking of Engineering support package and performance based logistics ,the present deal is 6.54% costlier.

The auditor also points that in the previous offer by the UPA , the Dassault Aviation provides financial  and performance guarantees and the cost was embedded in the offer. But, in the current deal by NDA government, there are no such guarantees.This, however would turn out to be a saving by the vendor i.e Dassault Aviation.

The auditor, also mentions the ‘drawback’ on settling for a ‘letter of comfort’ , which in the current deal, is an ‘entity’ considered. Rather than a ‘sovereign guarantee’ by the French Government.

A ‘sovereign guarantee’, in this case, would have ensured the direct involvement of ‘French Government’ in case of a ‘breach of agreement’.

However, the Congress is finding it really hard in accepting the entire report, the conflict being that CAG, auditing the deal, ‘Rajiv Mehrishi’ was formerly the Finance Secretary when the deal was signed and the Congress accused him of being a part of the deal.

In a recent interview by former Home Minister and former Finance Minister, P Chidambaram made some points regarding the CAG report.

He said that, the new deal is of purchasing 36 aircrafts rather than 126 for 1.4 Billion Euros, which immediately increases the price of the aircrafts by many folds because the “price of 126 aircrafts is amortised in 36.”

P Chidambaram said further said that “the report is not worth the paper in which it was written”.

Citing the ‘letter of comfort’ related comment by the ‘auditor’, he says “the government is throwing a crumb to the opposition who is challenging the RAFALE Deal.” He further says that the “30,000 Crore Rupees that is paid in advance is left without any assurance and guarantee of the delivery being made in accordance with the contract “. A “sovereign guarantee would have ensured that our money would be back in case of no-delivery”, he said.

He asserted that the aircrafts are not supplied to India by the French government but by 2 corporations.

Previously, Finance Minister, said that the “Supreme Court is satisfied, CAG is satisfied “but the sinking dynast is not satisfied, which is a ‘reference’ to the ‘Congress’.

In a response to that, P. Chidambaram said that he firmly believes Supreme Court and he also firmly believes what the Supreme Court ‘wrote’ in the context.

The Supreme Court, said “it is not going into the matter of ‘pricing’ and nor into the matter of why 36 aircraft rather than 126 ” and “the Supreme Court in its wisdom, declined to go into it”. Which he says that he accept but asserts that “the ‘pricing’ and the ‘numbers’ are the heart of the problem.”

P. Chidambaram further said that in such a case the matter is brought to the light of a Joint Parliamentary Committee in a parliamentary  ‘democracy’ but it seems to be an “anathema” for the government.

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