Rafale deal seems to be continuing as a major source of political controversy, in which the French government is also now logged into action. Hours after its former president Francois Hollande said the Indian government had proposed Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence as the offset partner in the Rafale deal, the French government today said that it was not involved in the choice of Indian industrial partners “who have been, are being, or will be selected by French companies.”
“The French government is in no manner involved in the choice of Indian industrial partners who have been, are being, or will be selected by French companies” it added. In accordance with India’s acquisition procedure, it said that 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.
Earlier, the report in ‘Mediapart’, a French language publication, quoted Hollande as saying, “It was the Indian government that proposed this service group, and Dassault which negotiated with Ambani. We had no choice, we took the interlocutor who was given to us.”
On the otherhand, providing clarifications regarding the contract, Dassault Aviation issued a statement which said, “This contract is a government-to-government agreement, it provides for a separate contract in which Dassault Aviation commits to make compensation investments (offsets) in India worth 50 per cent of the value of the purchase.”
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, it added. It also said that Dassault Aviation and Reliance have built a plant in Nagpur for manufacturing parts for Falcon and Rafale aircraft.