New Delhi | The government of France on Friday denied any kind of involvement in the choice of Indian industrial partners for the controversial Rafale deal.
The response has come after media reports emerged quoting former French President Francois Hollande that Indian government had proposed Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence as the India partner in the Rafale fighter jet deal and not given them a choice. Denying the claim, the French government said French companies have the full freedom to select Indian firms for the contract and its role was limited to just ensuring the delivery and quality of the warplanes.
The French government said,”In accordance with India’s acquisition procedure, French companies have the full freedom to choose the Indian partner companies that they consider to be the most relevant, then present for the Indian government’s approval the offsets projects that they wish to execute in India with these local partners so as to fulfil their obligations in this regard.”
Meanwhile, Dassault Aviation, the company which produces the Rafale Fighter Jet has also issued a statement after the rising controversy over the deal. It said, “This offsets contract is delivered in compliance with the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016 regulations. In this framework, and in accordance with the policy of Make in India, Dassault Aviation has decided to make a partnership with India’s Reliance Group. This is Dassault Aviation’s choice.”
The opposition parties especially Congress have cornered the NDA government over the Rafael Deal stating irregularities in the Indo-France deal. Congress alleged that the UPA government while negotiating the procurement of the Rafale Jets had finalised the amount at Rs 526 crores while the current NDA government is procuring the aircraft at Rs 1,670 crores per aircraft.