Defence Ministry says allegation of coruption in purchase of Rafale jets unfounded

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New Delhi:

The Narendra Modi-led government on Wednesday said that allegations of wrong-doings and corruption in the purchase of the 36 Rafale fighter jess from France for Indian Air Force (IAF) are ‘unfounded’.

Opposition especially the Congress has been attacking the BJP on Rafale deal and has been alleging that the PM Modi-led government is not revealing details in as there is an alleged scam.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi earlier had alleged that the aircraft were bought at price higher than what the UPA-led Manmohan Singh government had negotiated for.

Recent denial to reveal the cost of Rafale fighter in the Parliament by the Defence Minister worked as a catalyst to the Oppositions allegations.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had refused to give out price details citing it as a ‘confidential clause.’

Hitting back Congress the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in an official statement said, “The demand that the Government disclose the details and value of the contract for the Rafale aircraft contracted in 2016 is unrealistic.  [In keeping with confidentiality requirements, the UPA Government had also expressed its inability to disclose the price of various defence procurements, including in its responses to Parliament Questions].”

Also read: Defence Minister refuses to disclose Rafale deal; what are you hiding, retorts Congress

The statement further read, “The approximate acquisition cost of the Rafale aircraft has already been provided to the Parliament.  Provision of exact item-wise cost and other information will reveal, inter alia, details regarding the various customizations and weapons systems specially designed to augment the effectiveness and lethality of the assets, impact our military preparedness and compromise our national security.”

The MoD in its statement also exerted that the procurement of 36 Rafale aircraft is through an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with France to meet the urgent need of the IAF is strictly in accordance with the Defence Procurement Procedure.

 

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