Rafale deal: Dassault document shows Reliance joint venture was mandatory
According to a report by French investigative journal Mediapart, an internal document of Dassault Aviation shows the aerospace major picking Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence as the offset partner in India was mandatory for the 36 jet deal. Dassault Aviation is the maker of the Rafale fighters that India is buying from France.
According to the report in Mediapart, which had accessed Dassault’s document, uses the French word ‘contrepartie’ to describe Reliance being made the offset partner, which when translated to English, means ‘counterpart’.
Last month, Francois Hollande, former French president had claimed in an interview to Mediapart that the Indian government had proposed Reliance Defence as the partner in the Rs 59,000 crore Rafale deal and France did not have a choice. Soon after the interview out published, Dassault had clarified that the decision to partner with Reliance Defence was their own.
After former French president Francois Hollande’s admission, allegations and counter-allegations escalated in the coutry. The Modi led BJP government is accused of ignoring the state-run defence company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to benefit Anil Ambani, by the opposition. Though both the government and the business tycoon has denied the allegations.
This new allegation surfaced at a time when Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is headed to France, to visit the Dassault factory where the 36 Rafale aircraft are being manufactured for India. If sources are to be believed according NDTV report, during the Defence Minister’s three-day visit, Dassault is likely to push for more Rafale to be bought by India.
According to the new deal, which is personally negotiated by PM Narendra Modi, as part of the offset clause, Dassault has to ensure that business worth at least half the money Rs 30,000 is generated in India. And Anil Ambani’s firm to become Dassault’s offset partner.
Also read: Rafale Deal: SC asks Modi govt to provide details of decision making process