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Rafale Deal: CAG to table the audit report on offsets in Parliament in winter session

According to the reports, the CAG in its report will submit the details of the audit of at least 32 offset contracts of the three defence services between 2012-13 and 2017-18.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has finished the auditing of the offset deals in the Rafale fighter deal with France and is likely to table its report in the winter session of Parliament, reports Times of India.

According to the reports, the CAG in its report will submit the details of the audit of at least 32 offset contracts of the three defence services between 2012-13 and 2017-18.

The audit to be tabled will not be a standalone review of the Rafale offset deal but the review of 31 other offset deals between 2012-13 and 2017-18. The CAG in its audit has looked into pricing and other terms of offset contracts with a comparative study of the impact it will have on the overall cost of the jets. The auditor initially took up 42 such offset contracts for review but finally selected 32 for audit, including the Rafale deal.

Earlier, the CAG report on the Rafale deal was tabled in Parliament in February. The chief auditor had not reviewed the offset audits as he did not want to combine it with the offset audit. The offset deals reviewed include purchases of the Army, IAF and Navy. The auditor has also received detailed responses from the defence ministry on some of its observations.

The CAG separated its review of the offset deals from the Rafale report on IAF acquisitions as these offsets included Army and Navy, reports the Times of India.

In its report, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had said that the deal struck by the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for the purchase of 36 French Rafale fighter jets was cheaper than the one negotiated by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

In the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the opposition parties, especially Congress party along with their media cronies had invented a scam out of the Rafale deal to propagate a narrative ahead of the elections. With CAG establishing that NDA government had in fact saved the taxpayers money by negotiating a better deal than UPA and a clean chit given by the Supreme Court, the opposition parties including some media had faced huge embarrassment.

The first Rafale fighter, part of the Rs 59,000 crore-36 aircraft deal with French manufacturer Dassault Aviation, will be delivered next month. French defence giant Dassault Aviation had agreed to provide all 36 fighters in a flyaway condition between 36 to 67 months from the date of signing of the IGA (inter-governmental agreement) in 2016.

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