CAG Rafale report tabled in Parliament amid Opposition uproar: The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) on Wednesday tabled its report on Capital Acquisitions in the Indian Air Force (IAF), which includes the details of controversial Rafale fighter jet deal worth Rs 59,000 crore, amid Opposition uproar in Parliament on Wednesday. The audit report said the NDA deal signed by the Narendra Modi-led NDA government was 2.8% cheaper than what the Manmohan Singh-led UPA had negotiated with French aircraft manufacturer Dassault.

Questioning the impartiality of the CAG report, the Congress leaders demanded that CAG Rajiv Mehrishi should recuse himself from auditing and submitting a report on the Rafale deal due to a “conflict of interest.” The party claimed impartiality can’t be expected in the audit because CAG Rajiv Mehrshi was an official in the Finance Ministry under the Narendra Modi-led NDA government during the Rafale negotiations. Congress president Rahul Gandhi will hold a press conference today at 3:30pm on the CAG Rafale report.

Earlier, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Office conducted parallel negotiations with France on the Rafale deal and the then defence minister Manohar Parrikar opposed the PMO move as it undermined the position of the defence ministry. Apart from that, Rahul alleged that the government waived crucial anti-corruption penalty clauses in the deal days before the inter-governmental agreement was signed.

Given below is the CAG’s Rafale verdict:

– The new deal signed by Modi government is cheaper by 2.8%, not 9% as it was claimed earlier.

– Compared to the UPA government’s 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) deal, India managed to save 17.08% money for the India Specific Enhancements in the 36 Rafale contract.

– Weapons deal signed under the Modi government is cheaper by 1.05% compared to the previous UPA govt deal

– The delivery schedule of the first 18 Rafale aircraft is better than the one proposed in the 126 aircraft deal, by five months.

– The IAF did not define the ASQRs (Air Staff Qualitative Requirements) properly. As a result, none of the vendors could fully meet the ASQRs. ASQRs were changed repeatedly during the procurement process.

– It created difficulties during technical and price evaluation and affected integrity of competitive tendering – – which is cited as one of the main reasons for the delay in the acquisition process. Objectivity, equity and consistency of technical evaluation process wasn’t evident in the Technical Evaluation Report.

– A Defence Ministry team in March 2015 recommended the scrapping of the 126 Rafale deal saying that Dassault Aviation was not the lowest bidder and EADS (European Aeronautic Defence & Space Company) was not fully compliant with the tender requirements.

– Defence Ministry team had said in 2015 that the proposal of Dassault Aviation Rafale should have been rejected in technical evaluation stage itself as it was non-compliant with RFP requirements.

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