Watch: Is the CAG Report on Rafale A Win For The Modi Govt?
The two documents - CAG report and the dissent letter - raises some key questions over the Rafale deal.
Two crucial documents on the Rafale deal have been made in public - the CAG report that was placed on the table on the last day of the 16th Lok Sabha, and an 8-page dissent note by three members of the negotiating team that clinched the Rafale deal, made public by The Hindu.
Both the documents, when looked together, give a clear picture into three key questions:
- Was the decision of the Modi government to buy 36 Rafale jets instead of 126 justified?
- Was the latest deal done at a better price?
- Will these 36 aircraft be delivered sooner than the earlier deal?
Sandeep Bharadwaj from Centre for Policy Research said the matter can be argued both ways as it ultimately boils down to ‘politics’. "This could have been talked about in a way where the government could have settled the issue institutionally, but they failed to do it. Instead of giving a clear picture, they kept putting out omissions, corrections and retractions."
Rashid Kidwai from ORF said that it is not just about the aircraft deal being cheaper as they are not politically potent. "If I was in BJP, I would be very very worried and careful," as many publications are jumping on the matter.
The Rafale deal negotiated by the NDA government to procure 36 fighter jets was 2.86 percent cheaper than the UPA's 2007 offer, the Comptroller and Auditor General said in its report.
With regard to India-specific enhancements, the deal was 17.08 percent cheaper, said the CAG report, which was tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, 13 February. In terms of engineering support package and performance based logistics, the deal was 6.54 percent expensive, it stated.
The NDA deal was 2.86 percent cheaper than the one negotiated by the UPA government in 2007, according to the report.
The report gives much relief to the Modi government, which has been facing fervent attacks by the Congress over the fighter jet deal, and has repeatedly denied allegations levelled against them by the Opposition.
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