NEW DELHI, Feb 13, 2019, Asian Age. Amid the sparring contest between Congress and the BJP-led NDA government over the Rafale deal, a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) into the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets was tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, reported the Asian Age.
The report mentioned that compared to the 126 aircraft deal, India managed to save 17.08 per cent money for the India Specific Enhancements in the 36 Rafale contract, reported new agency ANI.
In terms of engineering support package and performance based logistics, the deal was 6.54 per cent expensive, it stated.
The NDA deal was 2.86 per cent cheaper than the one negotiated by the UPA government in 2007, according to the report.
The CAG said a Defence Ministry team in March 2015 recommended the scrapping of the 126 Rafale deal, saying that Dassault Aviation (manufacturer of Rafale plane) was not the lowest bidder and EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company) was not fully compliant with the tender requirements.
The process for procurement of 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) was initiated during the previous UPA government through tendering process and Rafale was selected as the lowest bidder.
The government auditor said that the IAF did not define the ASQRs (Air Staff Qualitative Requirements) properly and as a result, none of the vendors could fully meet the ASQRs.
ASQRs were changed repeatedly during the procurement process, the CAG said.
The delivery schedule of the first 18 Rafale aircraft is better than the one proposed in the 126 aircraft deal, by five months.
The report gives much relief to the Modi government, which has been facing fervent attacks by the Congress over the fighter jet deal. The Centre has repeatedly denied allegations by the opposition party in the Rafale issue.