Kapil Sibal
Kapil Sibal

Rafale deal not govt-to-govt pact: Sibal

ANI | Updated: Nov 14, 2018 18:25 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov 14 (ANI): Training guns at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the Rafale row, the Congress party on Wednesday said that the deal was not a government-to-government pact with France, and claimed that there was no such procedure in the country.
"The French government has never done a government-to-government contract on defence and such a deal has only been done in the United States under the Foreign Military Sales route," senior party leader Kapil Sibal said on Wednesday.
Sibal's remarks came a day after Dassault Aviation Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Eric Trappier, in an exclusive interview to ANI, dismissed allegations made by Congress president Rahul Gandhi that the former lied about the details of the Dassault- Reliance Joint Venture (JV) for offset contracts in the Rafale Jet deal.
"I don't lie. The truth I declared before and the statements I made are true. I don't have a reputation of lying. In my position as CEO, you don't lie," Trappier said yesterday when asked to respond to Rahul Gandhi's charge that Dassault was covering up for possible cronyism in awarding the offset deal to Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group.
Sibal, who held a press conference today, said the people who negotiated the deal were Dassault representatives along with (CEO) Eric Trappier himself and the Ministry of Defence and Air Force officials."
The only thing that happened was that the Government of France gave a confirmation letter that negotiations were held with Dassault, he added.
Questioning as to how was it a government-to-government contract, Sibal also alleged that the officers who raised objections to the deal were transferred and new officers were brought in.
According to the Congress leader, Dassault had "refused" to give an affidavit or undertaking on the number of man-hours required for manufacturing the aircraft, as HAL had claimed that 2.74 times man-hours would be used to manufacture the jet in India, as per a previous contract.
"The government later on also sought assurances from Dassault to take full responsibility for the product quality when manufacturing it in India, which it refused, thus rendering the company "non-complaint" twice," he said. He further said the Government of India could not deal with a company which is "non-compliant". (ANI)