Amidst the cacophony of lies spouted by Rahul Gandhi over the Rafale deal, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on Sunday, came out with a clarification, putting all speculations to rest. HAL took to Twitter to assert that ‘the orders for 83 light combat aircraft and 15 light combat helicopters were in ‘advanced stages’.
In the middle of reports suggesting that HAL was forced to borrow money to pay salaries to its employees, the state-run aerospace major clarified that it had taken an overdraft of Rs 962 crores to meets its current requirements and that, with the anticipated collection up to March, its cash position is expected to improve.
In view of the various media reports on HAL,following is clarified: HAL has taken overdraft of Rs 962 crores. With anticipated collection upto March, the cash position is expected to improve. Orders for LCA Mk1 A (83) & LCH (15) are in advanced stages.@drajaykumar_ias @PTI_News
— HAL (@HALHQBLR) January 6, 2019
With this one Tweet, HAL seems to have busted two lies that were doing the rounds and were being used by Rahul Gandhi to target the Modi government.
On January 6th, Times of India had published a report that said not a single rupee had accrued to HAL of the Rs. 1 lakh crores that Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had spoken about in the parliament. Rahul Gandhi proceeded to use that report to target the Modi government.
When you tell one lie, you need to keep spinning out more lies, to cover up the first one.
In her eagerness to defend the PM’s Rafale lie, the RM lied to Parliament.
Tomorrow, RM must place before Parliament documents showing 1 Lakh crore of Govt orders to HAL.
Or resign. pic.twitter.com/dYafyklH9o
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) January 6, 2019
Rahul asserted that the Raksha Mantri had lied in Parliament to “defend PM’s Rafale lie”. However, in this regard, Nirmala Sitharaman came all guns blazing with documentary proof.
Nirmala Sitharaman retaliated to Rahul’s tweet by tweeting that he should “start from ABCs” and read the complete report before commenting on it. She furthered “It’s a shame that the president of @INCIndia is spreading lies and misleading the country. HAL has signed contracts worth Rs 73,000 crore are in the pipeline. Will @RahulGandhi apologise to the country… and resign?”
In order to back her claims, Sitharaman also put out details of the contract awarded to HAL since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 2014.
It’s a shame that the president of @INCIndia is spreading lies nd
misleading the country.HAL has signed contracts worth 26570.8Cr (Between 2014 & 2018) nd contracts worth 73000Cr are in the pipeline.Will @RahulGandhi apologise to the country from the floor of the house nd resign? pic.twitter.com/PRWEMFUjml
— NSitharamanOffice (@nsitharamanoffc) January 6, 2019
Interestingly, even in the screenshot shared by Rahul Gandhi, it is clearly mentioned that the projects are in the “pipeline”. When the projects are indeed in the pipeline, one must ask not only Times of India but even Rahul Gandhi how the money can accrue to HAL before the projects have been passed.
HAL, in its tweet, has clarified the same asserting that orders for LCA Mk1 A (83) & LCH (15) are in advanced stages.
Another report had claimed that HAL had taken a Rs. 1000 crores loan to pay salaries and that the PSU is suffering from a lowest cash crunch in 17 years. Rahul Gandhi quoted that news and against trained his guns against the Modi government. He asserted that Anil Ambani has Rafale while HAL’s best engineers and scientists have no money for salaries.
That HAL doesn’t have enough cash to pay salaries, isn’t surprising.
Anil Ambani has Rafale. He now needs HAL’s brilliant talent pool to deliver on his contracts.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) January 7, 2019
HAL responded in its tweet saying that it had drawn and overdraft of Rs. 962 crores to meet immediate needs and the situation was expected to get better.
Rahul Gandhi has failed to realise that when he relegates every issue of HAL to the Rafale deal, he scores a self-goal considering during the Congress regime, Dassault deal had not gone through at all. HAL has been struggling for the longest time and Mallikarjun Kharge led PAC has itself said that HAL has problems with inefficiency. Perhaps, after decades of being in power, Rahul Gandhi would do well to question what his government did for HAL rather than questioning the signed contracts worth 26570.8Cr (Between 2014 and 2018) and contracts worth 73000Cr are in the pipeline during the Modi regime.