As per an Economic Times report, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has asserted that deliberate attempts were made to favour the American company Boeing over their Spanish competitors by the UPA in $2.8 billion dollar deal signed by the government for the procurement of P8 I maritime reconnaissance aircraft.
In its report, the CAG claimed that Boeing was favoured by the Ministry as a deal with EADS CASA, Spain was enhanced to include a 20-year support package, a package that was absent in the Boeing offer and hence it turned out to be cheaper. “The contract was concluded with M/s Boeing, USA in January 2009 at MUSD 2,137.54. At a later date, M/s Boeing, USA offered the product support under a separate negotiable contract and consequently the deduced ranking of M/s Boeing, USA as L-1 turned out to be incorrect,” says the report.
On a worrying note, the CAG states that the American platform does not completely meet the requirements of the Indian Navy. Also, Boeing is yet to fulfil its offset obligations of $641 million dill date despite the fact that the terms of the contract demanded all obligations to be fulfilled by August 2016.
The Congress’ record on defence deals is very sketchy, to say the least. Recently, even Congress mouthpiece National herald admitted that Bofors was indeed a scam. Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who has been working overtime to paint the Rafale deal as a scam despite all evidence pointing towards the fact that it is not, will have a fair bit of trouble explaining away the latest damning report by the CAG.