Sunday, February 28, 2021
Home News Reports Fresh controversy erupts after French media claims deal with Reliance was mandatory for Dassault

Fresh controversy erupts after French media claims deal with Reliance was mandatory for Dassault

French publication Mediapart is reported to have found an internal document pertaining to Dassault Aviation, which purportedly claims that the offset deal with Reliance was mandatory for the company to get the contract to supply the 36 Rafale fighter planes to India. According to the report, while inaugurating the Dassault Reliance Aerospace facility in Nagpur, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Dassault Aviation Loik Segalen is reported to have said that ‘It was imperative and mandatory for Dassault Aviation to accept this counterpart (offset partnership), in order to seal the deal to sell Rafale jet to India’.

While Congress and some journalists have latched onto this report and have started claiming that this is a ‘proof’ of Indian government favouring Anil Ambani’s Reliance, there are others who believe that Mediapart has either deliberately or inadvertently misinterpreted comment made by the Dassault official. Rafale deal is a government to government deal between India and France, and this deal has an offset clause as per India’s offset policy. According to this policy, the foreign vendor has offset 50% of the deal value in India. The offset may in the form of investment in India, purchase from India, and technology transfer. It has already been reported that Dassault has entered into offset partnerships with several companies from both private and public sector India, which includes BEL, DRDO, HAL, BTCL, Samtel, Reliance Defence, L&T, Mahindra Group etc. The French company has signed MoUs with 72 companies for various offset agreements and talking with more..

Other than Dassault, engine maker Safran, radar and aviation electronics supplier Thales, and missile provider MBDA also will have to fulfil offset obligations and they are also in the process of entering into such partnerships.

Therefore, it is very much possible that the Dassault official was talking about offset partnerships as a whole and not specifically about the Reliance deal. Because offset partnerships are indeed mandatory as per Indian rules. It is worth mentioning that DRDO is largest offset partner in the Rafale deal, and Reliance’s total share in it will be minor, which at present stands at less than 3%, which is the investment Dassault has made in the Nagpur plant. Also important to note that currently this plant is manufacturing parts for a civilian jet Falcon, not the Rafale jet.

French sources have confirmed that the Dassault deputy CEO was talking about around 100 offset partnerships that the company has entered into as mandatory requirement for the deal.

The officer was addressing union representatives of the company, and it was necessary to explain to them why the production of some parts of the Falcon business jet was being moved out of France. As it is the first time Dassault Aviation is moving a production facility outside France, getting the union to agree on this was necessary.

The original tender issued by UPA government to buy an MMRCA was for 126 jets, and Dassault had won that bid during UPA term itself. But the deal didn’t go through as Dassault refused to take responsibility for 108 jets that was to be made by HAL in India. Now, the company won a bid to 108 jets but let it go because they didn’t want to work with a company Indian government had selected, can the same company be forced to work with another company for a smaller deal for just 36 jets?

Both Indian and French governments and Dassault aviation have repeatedly asserted that the company is free to choose its offset partners and governments have no role in it.

Earlier, this same publication had claimed that former France President Hollande had said that India had selected Reliance for the deal, but this claim was denied by both the governments and the company. Later when Hollande asked to comment on it, he had said that only Dassault can comment.

The Mediapart seem to be extensively using arguments made by the opposition in India in its report. The report quotes Arun Shourie, Prashant Bhushan, Yashwant Sinha, persons who are among the biggest critics of the government at present. The report claims that Modi government cancelled the deal to buy 126 jets, ignoring the fact that the deal was stalled for over two years due to disagreement over HAL between Dassault and the Indian government.

The report by Mediapart also repeats the lie spread by Congress that Reliance Defence was formed twelve days before PM Modi’s France visit. Fact is Pipavav Shipyard was established in 1997 which was acquired by Reliance in 2015, and was renamed as Reliance Defence and Engineering in 2016. The report also claims Anil Ambani is unknown in the defence industry. Fact is Reliance Defence is a known name in the industry and they have just won a deal worth ₹ 15,000 crore billion to maintain the warships of the seventh fleet of US Navy, among many other deals. 7th fleet is the largest fleet of the US Navy and its fleet size and firepower is actually more than entire Indian navy.

The report by the French journal actually reads more like a Rahul Gandhi speech than an investigative report, going by how many times they mention Anil Ambani’s name, not forgetting to inform that he is ‘close friend’ of Narendra Modi.

OpIndia has reached out to Dassault for a comment about this report by Mediapart, and we are awaiting the same to know the truth of the matter.

Update: Dassault Aviation has issued a detailed clarification denying the claims of the French portal MediaPart.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Raju Das
Corporate Dropout, Freelance Translator

Related Articles

Trending now

Hindu Mahasabha asks Rahul Gandhi to change Congress’ name to ‘Godsevadi Congress’ after Godse follower joined party: Read why

Hindu Mahasabha has advised Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to change the name of the Congress party to Godsevadi Congress.

As desperate Pakistan welcomes the Indo-Pak ceasefire with much fanfare, India takes it with a caution

The latest ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan comes nearly 17 years after such an agreement was first signed

Encryption vs Compliance: The new IT Act guidelines put messaging services like WhatsApp in a tight situation

To comply with the new IT Act guidelines, services like WhatsApp will have to break its famous end-to-end encryption

Is Yogendra Yadav now an anti-election activist?

“We should have an outcome very soon, we do not have a mandate.” These were the words of Yogendra Yadav after Bihar elections

Yogi Adityanath’s Uttar Pradesh advances to the second position on the GSDP list ahead of Tamil Nadu, was fifth only a year ago

Amidst economic gloom induced by the pandemic, Uttar Pradesh under the leadership of Yogi Adityanath has recorded impressive GSDP figures

A 2 minute video with 16 cuts: Pakistan releases new doctored video of Wing Commander Abhinandan days after committing to peace at LoC

Pakistan has released a new video of Wing Commander Abhinandan who had fallen into the hands of the Pakistani Army.

Recently Popular

Did Aamir Khan’s daughter Ira Khan elope with her Hindu servant? Here is the truth

The image that is being used to claim that Iran Khan has 'eloped with her Hindu servant' was originally shared by Nupur Shikare, her fitness trainer. The two were posing on the occasion of Diwali.

US President Joe Biden casually drops the N-word during Munich Security Conference, accused of racism on social media

The N-word is considered as one of the hateful words that were first uttered in the 17th century. Its origin can be traced back to the Spanish word 'negro', which is often used by white supremacists to deliberately offend the African-American community.

Father of Richa Bharti, the girl who had refused to distribute Quran to secure bail, shot dead in native Bihar village: Read details

The father of the daring Bihar girl Richa Bharti has been shot down by assailants in her native village of Nalanda district in Bihar.

Father of 6, Mehtab Rana, abducts minor by shrouding her in Burqa, had abducted the girl twice in 2018, role of in-laws, family suspected

Kidnapping of a 17-year-old girl in Agra, where accused made her wear a 'burqa', has sent shockwaves and resulted in outrage

“A contest between my ball and your ball”: Netizens in splits after comments of Harsha Bhogle go viral

Harsha Bhohgle said that a cricket contest should be between bat and ball, not between bat and bat or ball and ball

Spokesperson of Samajwadi Party resigns after workers abuse his wife for sharing anti-Akhilesh Facebook post: Details

Anil Yadav of Samajwadi Party has resigned from the party after his wife, Pankhuri Pathak, was abused by SP workers.
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

253,132FansLike
520,785FollowersFollow
23,800SubscribersSubscribe