Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier has challenged detractors to find any corruption in Rafale offset deals and said that his company is open to any investigation by agencies. “We stick to the laws of France and laws of India and the law of the contract,” said Trappier in an interview. “We are totally against corruption. If there is any investigation in France or India, we are not only open to the investigation, it is our duty (to respond). We will prove there is no corruption.” He added. Indian government purchased 36 Rafale aircrafts worth Rs. 60,000 crores and as per Indian defense purchase policy, the company must invest 50 percent of the deal as offset investment. Therefore, Dassault Aviation has offset obligation of Rs. 30,000 crore in India and for this the company has chosen more than 70 companies for the deal.
A small percentage of total offset contract worth 850 crores was awarded to Reliance Defense. Dassault Aviation was free to choose the companies for offset deals and it chose Reliance Defense among many others. However, opposition made it a political issue and started spreading lies and propaganda through its stooges in media. “The PM of India is a corrupt person. He awarded Rs. 30,000 crores to Anil Ambani. There is a clear-cut case against the PM,” said Rahul Gandhi in a press conference. The statement by Rahul Gandhi is a blatant lie and falls short on facts because the total offset obligation is worth Rs. 30,000 crores and Reliance Defense awarded only 3 percent of total offset contract. These lies were perpetuated by a section of media which was fed by Congress establishment when they were in power.
On the controversial statement by former French president, Francois Hollande, Trappier said, “Mr Hollande has himself clarified it by saying that the two partners found themselves on their own. So, he has clarified as there was maybe a misunderstanding in his first declaration. We found Reliance in 2011-12.” Trappier also gave the reason behind choosing Reliance Defense over any other company. “So, this was not at the time of Hollande and not at the time of your current PM. It has been a long time since we are discussing with Reliance. I want to be clear that Dassault is a partner as the Ambanis are a very respectable family,” said Trappier. He further elaborated the joint venture with Reliance and said, “The capital investment in the joint venture is Rs 70 crore. The JV is 51% with Reliance, so we have invested 49% of Rs 70 crore.”
Previously, Dassault aviation issued a press release in which it clearly stated that choosing offset partner was Dassault’s call with no involvement of Government or Defense Ministry. The companies chosen for offset contracts include BTSL, DEFSYS, Kinetic, Mahindra, Maini, SAMTEL,… and negotiations are going on with more than 70 companies for offset contracts. The blatant lies and ignorance of Rahul Gandhi is the major problem with Rafale deal not crony capitalism or corruption.
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