Monday, October 01, 2018

VK Singh defends Rafale deal, claims manufacturer decides partner in inter-governmental agreements

Dubai: Minister of State for External Affairs General VK Singh has defended the Rafale fighter aircraft deal, saying it is not the government but the company that makes the equipment which decides the partner to fulfil the offset obligations in the inter-governmental agreements.

Addressing the Indian community at the Indian consulate in Dubai on Saturday evening, General Singh said no noise should be made if the French aerospace major Dassault Aviation did not find the state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) "useful enough".
"The thing that gets paddled around is what happens to HAL. If I can say tongue-in-cheek, if Dessault didn't find (HAL) useful enough, we shouldn't make noise," he said. "It's the company that is making equipment that decides whom to give the offset. So the decision is that of Dassault and for various things they have selected a number of companies, Anil Ambani is one of them," he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the procurement of a batch of 36 Rafale jets after holding talks with then French president Hollande on 10 April, 2015 in Paris. The final deal was sealed on 23 September, 2016.
A controversy broke out when a French media report quoted Hollande as saying that the Indian government proposed Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence as the partner for the French aerospace giant in the Rs 58,000 crore Rafale deal and France did not have a choice.
30/09/18 PTI/First Post

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