On Thursday, October 25, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the details about offset partners in Rafale fighter jet deal will be cleared only when Dassault will come to her with bills detailing.
Sitharaman said at ‘India Summit: Status of the Nation’ organized by the Economist magazine, “Dassault and two or three companies are participating in the supply of Rafale. So each one of them will have an offset obligation to be fulfilled”.
She said, “Now for Dassault alone to come back to me to say that their offset is getting fulfilled completely, through one, two, three or any number of companies with whom they either go with investments or go for a buying of a product or buying of a service, (it) is left to Dassault to come to me to claim it”.
She said, “Till such time they claim each and every one of them, I will not know whether they are with one, or ten or with hundred (Indian offset partners). The offset partners’ details will be known when they approach me with bills detailing what kind of service is being received, whether it is in the form of equipment or investment”.
— ET Defence (@ETDefence) October 25, 2018
She added, “They still have time to come back to me to say look, my offset is getting fulfilled through these routes. They will have to submit transaction details of who got the money, for what purpose. Till all that is done, I cannot even claim how many people they (Dassault) are going with”.
Sitharaman criticized Congress party for making false allegations scam in the deal on NDA government without knowing the actual cost of each Rafale fighter that India is going to get. She said that UPA government was procuring 18 emergency numbers of planes whereas NDA government procured 36 emergency numbers and remaining will be procured through strategic partnership.
Minister said, “They never bought it (the aircraft) but always claim that they bought it at one particular amount… The emergency number which UPA required was 18 but with more time passing, the emergency number what we wanted was 36, which is equal to two squadrons”.
She said, “For the 18 and for the rest they (UPA government) went for a tender. What we have done is that we have gone for inter-governmental tender for first 36 emergency numbers while rest of the procurement will be through strategic partnership”.
She added, “So, the processes have been simplified, much transparent now. That is why there is so much information available in the public domain. There is no scandal or crony any way”.