rafale: Congress govt too wanted to hide Rafale price: CAG report

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NEW DELHI: The BJP-headed NDA government’s decision to not reveal the price of the 36 Rafale fighter jets it agreed to buy from French company Dassault on the grounds of security invited a lot of criticism from the opposition parties. Interestingly, the Congress-led UPA government too had signed a deal to hide the price of the jets. This has been revealed by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report tabled in Parliament today.

The CAG report says the NDA government had asked the CAG in last month to not reveal the price of Rafale jets citing two agreements one of which was signed by the UPA government.

“The Ministry of Defence vide its letter dated 15 January 2019 had requested this Office to redact commercial details of MMRCA in the Audit Report, citing reference to Article 10 of the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for acquisition of 36 Rafale Aircraft and the provisions of an Indo French Agreement “concerning the Protection of Classified Information and Material in the field of Defence” signed on 25 January 2008,” says the report.

The Indo-French agreement which the CAG report refers to was signed in 2008 when the UPA government was in power at the Centre. The Defence Ministry not only cited its own agreement but also the one signed by the UPA to forbid disclosure of price due to security concerns.

However, contrary to its own agreement, the Congress has now been demanding the disclosure of the Rafale jet price, implying that redaction of price indicated corruption in the deal.



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