In a big boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been facing severe criticisms from the opposition, particularly Congress that he had involved in financial fraud with Rafale fighter jet deal with France, determining to the interests of the nation, the much-awaited CAG report, supported him immensly in this regard.
The Rafale fighter jet deal signed in 2016 was 2.86 per cent cheaper than the UPA’s deal in 2007, revealed Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its report tabled in Rajya Sabha today. The report says the second deal, which is exclusively for planes in a “flyaway” condition, is cheaper by 2.86 per cent. But the Centre has previously claimed that its deal is 9 per cent cheaper than the first deal.
In the UPA deal, 18 planes were supposed to delivered in a flyaway condition and the rest were meant to made in India by HAL. Another key difference between the two agreements in the offset clause in the NDA’s, which requires the French jetmaker, Dassault Aviation, to invest in Indian firms.
The CAG report says that compared to the UPA deal, India managed to save 17.08 per cent for India-specific enhancements in the NDA deal. It said the delivery schedule of the first 18 Rafale aircraft was better than the one proposed in the 126-aircraft deal by five months.
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. Former PM Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi were also present.
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.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said it was clear that the NDA’s deal was better than the UPA’s, and said the Congress should refrain from attacking PM Modi.