The joint venture of Dassault Aviation with Reliance represents over 10 percent of the offset investments under the deal of the Rafale jet, said Dassault CEO Eric Trappier.
Trappier said, “ We’re in talks with about 100 Indian firms, including around 30 with which we’ve already confirmed partnerships”.
Aside of this, talking at a press briefing in Paris, Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman reiterated that the government’s assertion that it had no clue that Dassault Aviation would team up with Reliance Group that is run by Anil Ambani.
A number of reports say Dassault was forced to pick Reliance by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in spite of having hardly any experience in the aviation sector.
On the eve of the visit of Sitharaman, the French investigative website Mediapart quoted the notes of a meeting between the representatives of the management and the workers which described the choice of Reliance as “imperative and compulsory”.
Sitharaman stated, “We are very clear: With the government of France, we agreed to purchase 36 Rafale aircraft in flyaway condition”.
She further added, “And in an intergovernmental agreement, there are no mentions of any individual firms. It is more for the companies which have chosen A, B or C as their partners to answer questions if there are any”.
Dassault in a statement released a transcript of what it stated was Trappier’s interview with AFP in which he was asked concerning the status of the offsets.
Trappier stated, “Signing an offset contract is a requirement of Indian law (Defence Procurement Procedure). The implementation of offsets is an obligation and, under the Indian regulation, the choice of the partners belongs to us”.
“In full compliance with this regulation, Dassault Aviation, therefore, decided to set up the DRAL joint venture with Reliance and build a plant in Nagpur, which should enable us to meet about 10% of these offset obligations. We are in negotiations with about a hundred Indian companies and partnerships have already been concluded with about thirty of them”.
He stated what is termed, “offset” in English is usually translated in English “compensation” or “contrepartie”.