Governments had no say in Rafale offset decision: Defence Ministry

Governments had no say in Rafale offset decision: Defence Ministry

Hollande was quoted by an article in French website as claiming the Indian government had asked the French government to nominate Reliance Defence as its India partner in Rafale jet offset deal

New Delhi: Amid media reports of former French president Francois Hollande claiming that the Indian government suggested a particular private firm for Rafale offset contract, the Defence Ministry on Friday reiterated that neither government had any say in the “commercial decision”.

“The report referring to former French president Hollande’s statement that government of India insisted upon a particular firm as offset partner for the Dassault Aviation in Rafale is being verified,” the Defence Ministry said in a tweet.

“It is reiterated that neither government of India nor French government had any say in the commercial decision,” it said.

Hollande has been quoted by an article in French website Mediapart as claiming that the Indian government had asked the French government to nominate Reliance Defence as its India partner in the Rafale jet offset deal. “We did not have a say in this,” Hollande was quoted by the website as saying. “The Indian government proposed this service group and Dassault negotiated with Ambani.”

The opposition has been alleging that the Anil Ambani firm was favoured in the Rs210 billion contract (Dh10.7 billion) at the cost of state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) despite the private firm having no prior experience in aerospace manufacturing.

The Narendra Modi government has repeatedly said it was Dassault that chose its India partner and that the government has had no say in the deal.