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