New Delhi, Sep 24 : Attacking the BJP-led NDA government on the latest CAG report that said that Dassault Aviation has failed to meet the offset clause under the deal for Rafale fighter aircraft, the Congress wondered whether the CAG report marks the opening of a can of worms.
In a series of tweets, senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said, ‘The offset obligations should have started on 23-9-2019 and the first annual commitment should have been completed by 23-9–2020, that is yesterday. Will the government say if that obligation was fulfilled? Is the CAG report the opening of a can of worms?’
He said that in its report, the CAG has found that the vendors of the Rafale aircraft have not confirmed the transfer of technology under the offset contract.
Reacting to the observation of the CAG report, AICC media in-charge Randeep Surjewala said, ‘Chronology of biggest Defense deal continues to unfold. The new CAG report admits that ‘technology transfer’ shelved in #Rafale offsets. 1st, ‘Make in India’ became ‘Make in France’. Now, DRDO dumped for tech transfer. Modi ji will say-सब चंगा सी !’.
In its report titled “CAG’s Performance Audit Report on Management of Defence Offset”, the CAG has said that foreign vendors in Rafale deal failed to fulfill offset commitments in defence sector.
The CAG pointed out that the French fighter jet manufacturer and MBDA which supplied armaments for Rafale jets have not yet discharged 30 per cent of their offset obligation.
India has already received five Rafale fighter jets from the French manufacturer in the first batch of the delivery on July 29. They were formally inducted to Indian Air Force (IAF) on September 10.
“In many cases, it was found that the foreign vendors made various offset commitments to qualify for the main supply contract but later, were not earnest about fulfilling these commitments,” the financial watchdog said in its report.
The Rafale deal is worth Rs 59,000 crore and the opposition Congress party has criticised the BJP government for what it alleged were irregularities in the fighter jet deal.