Modi govt’s Rafale deal 2.86% cheaper than UPA’s 2007 deal: CAG

Visuals of CAG report on Rafale deal being brough to the Parliament

The Rafale fighter jet deal signed in 2016 was 2.86% cheaper than the deal signed by the UPA government in 2007, revealed Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its report tabled in Rajya Sabha today.

The much-awaited CAG report on the Rafale defence deal was tabled in the Upper House, even as Congress president Rahul Gandhi and other leaders protest outside Parliament. The protesters could be seen throwing paper planes with pictures of PM Modi.

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Former PM Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi were present in the Rajya Sabha.

The Congress and other opposition parties have dismissed the report as biased because auditor Rajiv Mehrishi was Finance Secretary when the deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets was inked in 2016.

The 141-page CAG report, however, adds that the ministry had argued in 2016 that the contracted price was nine percent lower than the 2007 price. But, according to the audit, the basic flyaway aircraft was bought at the same price as that of 2007.

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After the CAG report on Rafale deal was tabled in Rajya Sabha today, Union minister Arun Jaitley took a dig at the Congress and Opposition, saying ‘Satyameva Jayate — the truth shall prevail.’ He added that the report reaffirms the dictum.

Main highlights of the CAG report on Capital Acquisitions in Indian Air Force, which includes the details of Rafale deal

  • CAG report, tabled before Rajya Sabha today, says compared to the 126 aircraft deal, India managed to save 17.08% money for the India Specific Enhancements in the 36 Rafale contract.
  • The delivery schedule of the first 18 Rafale aircraft is better than the one proposed in the 126 aircraft deal, by five months.
  • Audit noted that the IAF did not define the ASQRs (Air Staff Qualitative Requirements) properly. As a result, none of the vendors could fully meet the ASQRs. ASQRs were changed repeatedly during the procurement process
  • It created difficulties during technical and price evaluation and affected integrity of competitive tendering; one of the main reasons for the delay in the acquisition process.
  • Objectivity, equity and consistency of technical evaluation process wasn’t evident in the Technical Evaluation Report.
  • A Defence Ministry team in March 2015 recommended the scrapping of the 126 Rafale deal saying that Dassault Aviation was not the lowest bidder and EADS (European Aeronautic Defence & Space Company) was not fully compliant with the tender requirements.

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