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Published On: Tue, Sep 18th, 2018

Modi govt. getting Rafale jets at 9% cheaper than what UPA had agreed upon: Nirmala Sitharaman

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sitharamanNEW DELHI : Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said their National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government was getting Rafale fighter jets at a rate nine per cent cheaper than what the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) dispensation had agreed upon. Talking to reporters in New Delhi, she also said that it would be a “good fight” in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, and exuded confidence that the BJP would come back to power.
Responding to questions on the Congress’s allegations against the government on the Rafale deal, she said, “We have responded, saying your basic price and the basic price that I am getting at, when compared with all the escalation and other things, is 9 per cent cheaper.”

The following remarks were being made at a television interview aired on a TV Channel.. During the interview, Sitharaman also talked about Indo-China relations and Rafale deal where BJP is strongly being accused of manipulating the proposal for its personal benefits.

Earlier, on Tuesday, former Defence Minister and senior Congress leader A.K. Antony told reporters that Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad recently claimed that in the new agreement, the aircraft was nine per cent cheaper than the UPA deal; the Union Finance Minister said it was 20 per cent cheaper; while an officer of the IAF also said it was 40 per cent cheaper. “Then why did they not buy more than 126 if it was cheaper?”.
The UPA government started negotiating in 2012 with French firm Dassault Aviation to buy 126 the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA). The plan was for Dassault Aviation to supply 18 Rafales in fly-away condition while 108 were to be manufactured in India by the company along with HAL. However, a deal could not be sealed.
Talking about the Rafale jets deal, Nirmala Sitharaman slammed the opposition and further questioned that who were they trying to help by revealing such crucial information publically. She asked that who will benefit from this information China or Pakistan? .(With Agency Inputs ).

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