The Modi government, undeterred by controversies and constant attacks by the opposition over the Rafale deal has gone ahead and made the first instalment of the payment to the French government. According to reports, the central government has recently issued 25% of the agreed price in the 59,000 crore deal.
Notwithstanding the controversy, the government is moving ahead with the Rafale programme, making 25 per cent of payment to the French government in the more than Rs 59,000 crore deal for procuring 36 fighter planes
— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) December 27, 2018
News agency ANI has cited top sources in the Indian Air Force confirming that the first aircraft will be delivered to India by the end of September 2019 but the planes will have to undergo extensive testing and trials by Indian pilots to confirm the India-specific enhancements added to them.
The Indian government had signed a deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets with the French government for 7.9 billion Euros which comes to approximately 59,000 crore rupees.
ANI quoted sources within the Indian Air Force stating that almost 25% of the payments have already been made to the French government as per the deal. The payment is being made to the French government and not to Dassault Aviation as this was a government-to-government contract, the sources added.
The ANI report also stated that the first batch of four fighter jets with the advanced avionics and sensors will arrive in India by the middle of 2020. As per the September 2016 deal PM Narendra Modi signed with the French government, India will receive 36 Rafale jets with custom enhancements in fly-away conditions.
The Congress, other opposition parties and a large section of pro-Congress media in India have been making wild allegations against the Indian government over the deal. Despite repeated clarifications by the Indian government, French government and even Dassault Aviation that there has been no foul play, Congress President Rahul Gandhi had made one baseless allegation after another on the Modi government over the deal.
Rahul Gandhi had alleged that the Modi government had pressurised Dassault Aviation to choose Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence as its offset partner. The allegations, lies and misinformation spread with them were all proven false.
Recently, the Supreme Court of India had also given a clean chit to the Modi government over the deal and had dismissed the PILs filed against it.