NEW DELHI: Rejecting allegations of a scam in the Rafale fighter plane deal, Finance Minister Arun Jaitely on Sunday said that whether the planes are bought at a higher rate or not is a matter for the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to examine. He asserted, irrespective of the allegations, the Rafale deal will not be cancelled.
“The Rafale deal is clean and there is no question of cancelling it,” Jaitley said in an exclusive interview to ANI. He asserted that the present Rafale aircrafts are cheaper than what Congress-led UPA government had negotiated and added that all these facts and figures will be placed before the CAG.
“Fortunately, there is pricing, and for security interest, that pricing can’t be disclosed in detail. But I have come as close to this. If you take a weaponised aircraft as of 2007, add the same two things to it again and bring it to 2016 level, the 2016 level is 20% cheaper. Now the CAG will go into pricing. They may not eventually disclose it, but about being 9% and 20% cheaper or not, they are looking into it. Congress has submitted a memorandum. The truth will come out,” Jaitley said.
“Yeh saare aankdein aaj CAG ke saamne hai. Congress bhi CAG ke paas gayi hai. Hum prateeksha karenge iski. CAG toh aankdon ke specialized organization hai,” the Finance Minister added. (All these figures are before CAG. Congress too has gone to CAG. We will wait for this. CAG is a specialised organisation on figures).
Rejecting the possibility of scrapping the Rafale deal in view of the controversy and allegations on the government, Jaitley asserted that these jets are coming to India as they are needed for security and defence of the country.
“These jets are coming to India… They are required for Indian defence. They will enhance the combat ability of the Indian Air Force (IAF)… This is a clean government to government deal. Modi government is the cleanest government in the history while the UPA government of 2004-14 was the most corrupt government…By allegations, you don’t prove anything,” the minister said.