Dismissing an investigative report by The Hindu on price escalation in the Rafale deal, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in a series of tweets on Friday, 18 January, claimed the article was based on “fudged arithmetic.”
Jaitley said the report – by chairman of The Hindu Publishing Group N Ram – had ignored the escalation in the 2007 non-deal offer and had instead compared the the deal with the 2016 price to “invent a scam.”
The finance minister further pointed out that the Supreme Court had examined the prices, and the CAG was in the process of doing the same.
The report had claimed that the Modi government’s decision to buy 36 Rafale jets instead of 126 led to an increase in the price of each jet by more than 41 percent.
The report suggested that the hike in price was caused due to “government’s acceptance of the cost of €1.3 billion claimed for the ‘design and development’ of 13 India Specific Enhancements (ISE).”
The distribution of this ‘non recurring’ cost got distributed over 36 jets, as opposed to 126, which resulted in the prices going up, the report said.
The Defence Ministry, meanwhile, issued a statement rubbishing the report – terming the article “devoid of any new arguments.”