New Delhi: The country’s national auditor CAG is examining the Rafale fighter jet deal worth Rs 58,000 crore on which the Congress has been targeting the BJP-led government accusing it of wrongdoings.
The government of India Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre, replying to a question in the Lok Sabha, said the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) is conducting an audit of the capital acquisition system of Indian Air Force including the Rafale aircraft deal.
To a separate query, he also said that four cases of corruption in defence deals have been registered by the CBI since 2015.
India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for procurement of 36 Rafale jets. The delivery of the jets is scheduled to begin from September, 2019.
The Congress has been raising several questions about the deal including on the rates, and accused the government of compromising national interest and security while causing a loss to the public exchequer. The government has rejected the allegations.
Asked about details of the defence deals finalised in the last three-and-half years, he said information about agreements signed for purchase of arms and ammunition “cannot be disclosed in the interest of national security as well as in the interest of India’s relations with concerned foreign countries.”
The Congress has also been demanding details of the Rafale deal. However, the government has refused to share the details, citing confidentiality provisions of a 2008 Indo-France pact.
Bhamre said the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016 envisages signing of an integrity pact between government and the bidders for all capital procurement schemes of Rs 20 crore and above as against earlier provision of signing such a pact in cases involving Rs 100 crore and above.
He said no firm or entity has been blacklisted for misconduct in defence deals during the last three years. However, six firms were debarred from further business dealings with the defence ministry for a period of 10 years.
Bhamre said business dealings were suspended or put on hold in respect of 14 firms.