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Defence Ministry official objected to benchmark price of Rafale jets: Report

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New Delhi, Sep 27: As political battle over Rafale deal reached its crescendo, a news report by the leading media house may embarrass the BJP government which has been defending the Rafale deal vehemently.

Defence Ministry official objected to benchmark price of Rafale jets: Report

An exclusive report by Indian Express, Nearly a month before the deal for 36 Rafale aircraft was signed between then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his French counterpart in New Delhi in September 2016, a senior officer of the Ministry of Defence, who had been part of the Contract Negotiations Committee (CNC), raised questions about the deal's benchmark price and put his objections on record.

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This officer was then Joint Secretary & Acquisition Manager (Air) in the MoD and the one meant to initiate the note for the Cabinet's approval, The Indian Express has learnt.

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Finally, the Cabinet note was initiated by another official holding charge of JS & AM (Air) and was approved by the Cabinet in third week of September 2016. This led to the Rs 59,262-crore deal being signed between Parrikar and Le Drian on September 23, 2016. Subsequently, the JS & AM (Air) then proceeded on a month's leave and the 36-Rafale deal was approved by the DAC in first week of September 2016.

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