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CAG’s Rafale report: Highlights and reactions

* NDA’s Rafale deal cost 2.86% less that UPA’s negotiated one: CAG

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has found that the Rafale fighter jet deal signed by the NDA government was 2.86 per cent lower than the price negotiated by the UPA government. With regard to India specific enhancements, the deal was 17.08 per cent cheaper, said the CAG report.

In terms of engineering support package and performance based logistics, the deal was 6.54 per cent expensive, it stated.

* Delivery schedule in 2016 Rafale contract better by one month: CAG

In the report, the auditor said that there was an improvement of one month in the delivery schedule of the 2016 contract for 36 Rafale fighter jets in flyaway condition than the one negotiated by the UPA government.

According to the original delivery schedule offered by Dassault in 2007, first 18 flyaway aircraft were to be delivered between 37 and 50 months of the signing of the contract. The next 18, which were to be license produced in HAL, were to be delivered from 49th to 72nd months of the signing of the contract.

* Air Force acquisition process needs simplification: CAG

Overall the capital acquisition system, as it exists, is unlikely to effectively support the Indian Air Force in its operational preparedness and modernisation, the auditor observed and called for revisiting the entire process of acquisition to simplify it.

In its report, it recommended that the IAF should improve its process of formation of Air Staff Qualitative Requirements to ensure that they correctly reflect the user’s functional parameters. The audit is of the view that the present Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) method of bid evaluation wherein the contract is awarded to the lowest priced offer which is technically acceptable needs reconsideration. For procuring highly technical products, use of the Best Value method or a quantitative assessment method may ensure better value for money.

* CAG report on Rafale raises concerns on Letter of Comfort over a sovereign guarantee

The CAG report highlighted the drawbacks of settling for a ‘Letter of Comfort’ rather than a sovereign guarantee by the French government. The report noted that the 2007 UPA deal included a 15 per cent bank guarantee against advance payments. Highlighting its concerns, the CAG observed that in case of a breach of the agreement, India would now have to first settle the matter through arbitration directly with the French vendors. If the arbitration award goes in favour of India and Dassault Aviation, the makers of the Rafale jet fails to honour it, India will have to exhaust all available legal remedies, it said. Only after that will the French government make the payments on behalf of Dassault Aviation, it added.

* ‘Unsolicited offer’ of 20 per cent discount on Eurofighter by EADS had ‘factual inaccuracies’: MoD to CAG

The “unsolicited” proposal of 20 per cent discount by aerospace major EADS on the Eurofighter Typhoon jet, a competitor of Rafale manufacturer Dassault Aviation, had “factual inaccuracies”, the CAG was informed by the Defence Ministry. The rebate on the Eurofighter was proposed by its manufacturer in comparison to the 2007 UPA offer on the Rafale jets.

* Lies of ‘Mahajhootbandhan’ stand exposed by CAG report on Rafale: Union minister Arun Jaitley

“It cannot be that the Supreme Court is wrong, the CAG is wrong and only the dynast is right. Satyameva Jayate” – the truth shall prevail. The CAG Report on Rafale reaffirms the dictum. The report outlines that 2016 deal terms were lower in terms of price, faster in terms of delivery, while ensuring better maintenance and lower escalation. The lies of ‘Mahajhootbandhan’ stand exposed by the CAG Report. How does democracy punish those who consistently lied to the nation?”

* CAG report on Rafale does not mention dissenting note, not worth paper it’s written on: Rahul Gandhi

Congress president Rahul Gandhi noted that the CAG report on the Rafale deal does not mention the dissent note by negotiators and said he doesn’t think it’s not worth the paper it’s written on. “The government’s argument on price and faster delivery of Rafale fighter jets has been demolished,” Gandhi said. “The only reason for the new deal is to give Rs 30,000 crore to industrialist Anil Ambani,” the Congress chief added.

* Rahul’s lies on Rafale deal exposed, he should apologise: Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

“We never imagined that Indira Gandhi’s grandson and Rajiv Gandhi’s son will lie so shamelessly. In light of the SC order and the CAG report, Gandhi should withdraw his allegations and tender an apology.

* Rahul deserves the tag of ‘mahajhoota’: Shivraj Singh Chouhan

“Rahul Gandhi has been constantly lying. If someone has to be given a tag of ‘mahajhootha’ or an award for it then he will be the first contender. He has no shame. The way he had lied in Rafale matter, all his facts and documents are turning out to be false. Even after the Supreme Court’s verdict on the matter, Rahul is lying. This shows he has no credibility. All I would like to tell him is that it would be better for him to stop this ‘game of lies’ as soon as possible.”

* NCP questions the authenticity of the CAG report

The NCP, which is one of the parties to back the demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Rafale deal, said CAG Mehrishi was finance secretary when negotiations were underway to purchase the fighter jets.

“Mehrishi was part of Rafale negotiations, and he himself is CAG now. So, the question is the authenticity or truthfulness of the CAG report. The conflict of interest is there,” said NCP spokesperson Sanjay Tatkare.

* Constitutional bodies not able to work with honesty: Mayawati

BSP supremo Mayawati dismissed the report on the controversial Rafale deal as “neither complete nor fully correct” and charged that constitutional bodies in the country were not been able to work with full honesty. “It is neither complete nor fully correct in the eyes of public,” Mayawati said. She suggested the report was prepared under some kind of pressure. “Why constitutional bodies are under stress (and) not been able to work with full honesty. The country is worried,” she said.

The BSP chief said the BJP government has not been able to induct a single Rafale fighter jet in the Indian Air Force. “Is it the BJP’s (idea of) service of national interest and serving national security?” she asked.

* ‘Chowkidar Auditor General’ report on Rafale eyewash, ‘manufactured figure’ of 2.86 pc fake: Congress

The “Chowkidar Auditor General” report is a mere “eyewash” as it even fails to mention the price of the Rafale aircraft, Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.

* CAG report on Rafale deal ‘total obfuscation of truth’: CPM
“This deal has imperilled our national security interests…the government must clarify that unlike its submission in the Supreme Court, has it also kept the CAG in the dark by not providing all materials?,” CPM said.
The party also alleged that the report does not answer a single question concerning the corruption associated with the deal and “crony capitalism”.
“These answers can only be provided by an appropriate independent probe later. This report is a total obfuscation of the truth. This has once again reconfirmed the manner in which the independence and autonomy of constitutional authorities are being assaulted by this Modi government,” the statement said.