A Rafale fighter jet aircraft, manufactured by Dassault Aviation SA, is seen performing an aerial display during the 13th Dubai Airshow at Dubai World Central (DWC) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg)

India Bargained Badly, Gave Into Extortionist Demands In Rafale Deal, Says N Ram

The focus is back on India’s Rs 59,000-crore purchase of Rafale fighter jets after a report by the Hindu newspaper said the hurried deal led to India paying 41 percent more for the aircraft.

N Ram, a veteran journalist and the Hindu group chairman, in an article broke down the increase in price of each of the 36 aircraft India bought from France’s Dassault Aviation. That provides more fuel to the opposition that has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of causing a loss to the nation by pushing for an Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group company as a partner for the deal. The government has denied lobbying for Ambani.

N Ram told BloombergQuint that his findings show that India negotiated poorly with Dassault Aviation, possibly because the Prime Minister had already announced the deal. The 1.3-billion euros charged by Dassault Aviation as “design and development” costs for enhancements to the planes that India specifically wanted worked out more expensive because the size of the order was reduced from 126 aircraft to 36, he said.

He argues that in light of a smaller order size, the Indian negotiating team ought to have pushed for lowering the ‘design and development’ costs that pushed up the price of each plane by up to 41 percent compared with what was negotiated in 2017.

Dassault refused to budge on this and it is certainly controversial that the Indian government was not able to prevail. Mr. Modi needs to take responsibility for this.
N.Ram, Chairman. The Hindu Publishing Group

Also read: Why Government Bought Only 36 Rafale Jets, Asks Chidambaram

India Bargained Badly, Gave Into Extortionist Demands In Rafale Deal, Says N Ram

Watch the interview with N.Ram here

Also read: Why Government Bought Only 36 Rafale Jets, Asks Chidambaram