VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Karan M » 13 Feb 2019 03:37

Which one?

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 13 Feb 2019 04:26

CAG's Rafale report likely to compare cost with rival jet's
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/ind ... 967832.cms

The CAG report on the Rafale deal, which will be tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, is learnt to have offered a comparison of the cost of the French fighter with offers made by a competitor, the Eurofighter Typhoon jet, manufactured by a consortium of European firms. The CAG report on 11 acquisitions by the IAF devotes around 32 pages to the Rs 59,000 crore Rafale deal. The auditor has, however, redacted the pricing in case of the evaluation of the Rafale deal and has instead gone into percentage terms while comparing it with the only competitor. In 10 other acquisitions by the IAF, which are part of the report, the auditor has mentioned the prices while evaluating these deals. Under the original MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft) project for 126 fighters which was negotiated by the previous UPA regime, Rafale had emerged as the L-1 (lowest bidder) over the Eurofighter after the two had qualified in technical trials among six competitors. But the MMRCA negotiations had become deadlocked over pricing, guarantee and issues including man hours and costs for production under licence by HAL.

The NDA had then scrapped the MMRCA project before inking the Rs 59,000 crore acquisition of 36 Rafale fighters in a fly away condition from Dassault Aviation, which was inked with France in September 2016. Both the UPA and NDA government had ignored the offer for Eurofighter jets at a 20% discount on grounds that consideration of the proposal after selection of the L-1 would violate the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) and relevant CVC guidelines. The CAG audit of IAF purchases is for the 2012-2017 period. Five of the 11 deals audited were inked during the UPA government's tenure and six are from the NDA regime. Avoiding pricing in the Rafale deal has been at the request of the ministry of defence, which said it would violate secrecy clauses and reveal operational capabilities of the fighter. The CAG is separately coming out with another standalone report on all offset deals of the MoD of the past five years, a draft report of which has already been sent to the government for its response. However, the report may not be finalised before the general elections. The report on the offset deals, being prepared separately, includes the review of offset agreements in the Rafale deal where Opposition Congress had raised objections of favouring Reliance of the Anil Ambani group, which is a key offset partner of Dassault Aviation in the Rafale deal.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 13 Feb 2019 04:33

CAG report on Rafale: How Congress made a U-turn
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/ne ... 953533.cms

It seems the Congress party has made an about turn on its stand on the Rafale jet deal report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG). Earlier it wanted the CAG to give the report as soon as possible but now says he should recuse himself as he has a conflict of interest. The Congress is demanding 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 said that Mehrishi, as the then Union finance secretary, was part of the Narendra Modi government’s internal negotiations. Ghulam Nabi Azad, leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, and former Union law minister Kapil Sibal on Sunday placed this demand to Mehrishi in an official memorandum. The Congress move comes amid indications that the CAG may give its report on the deal in a few days.

However, a few months ago the Congress wanted the CAG to present his report, and fast. In September, a delegation of senior Congress leaders met the CAG on the Rafale deal and asked the auditor to prepare a report on alleged irregularities in it. "We have given a detailed memorandum along with enclosures on the irregularities and acts of omission and commission by the Government in the fighter jet deal. We expect the CAG will prepare a report soon and present it before Parliament," senior Congress leader Anand Sharma told reporters after meeting the CAG. Far from citing any conflict of interest and asking him to recuse, the Congress even submitted some evidence to the CAG. Again in October, the Congress urged the CAG to carry out a forensic audit of the Rafale fighter jet deal and bring all facts on record to enable Parliament to fix accountability for the alleged scam in the contract.

The party leaders presented a memorandum to him along with fresh documents. Quite contrary to its present stand, the party said in its memorandum that the CAG being a constitutional body must audit the deal. "It is expected that the CAG which has a Constitutional mandate and authority to scrutinize every document, in this case including original tender, understanding reached between Dassault and HAL and the arbitrary decision of the Prime Minister without any mandate from Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) will undertake a forensic audit," the memorandum said. Now the Congress does not want the same CAG chief, Rajiv Mehrishi, to present an audit report on Rafale deal. Congress leader Kapil Sibal said in a press conference yesterday, “Mehrishi was officially associated with the Modi government’s internal negotiations on the Rafale deal… If he audits and submits a report as CAG, it would mean that Mehrishi is trying to save himself and the government from the corruption in the Rafale aircraft deal…. The cardinal principle of law is that no one should be a judge in his own case.”

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby ArjunPandit » 13 Feb 2019 05:31

Karan M wrote:Which one?

delete the previous post, you did and responded already

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Nikhil T » 13 Feb 2019 12:17

Hindu: Rafale deal not on ‘better terms’ than UPA-era offer

Wow. The Hindu has put up the entire 8 page dissent note submitted by three members of the Indian Negotiating Team. Regardless of the concerns raised, the MoD is leaking sensitive docs like crazy. NaMo has certainly upset some very powerful lobby. I’m afraid he’s losing the Rafale debate.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby arshyam » 13 Feb 2019 12:33

Wouldn't leaking/publishing these internal documents run up against the Official Secrets Act at some point?

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby arshyam » 13 Feb 2019 12:42

Comments on that Hindu article are instructive.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Kakarat » 13 Feb 2019 13:05

https://twitter.com/ShivAroor/status/10 ... 2615031808

So the CAG report on the #RafaleDeal says the 2016 deal was 2.8% cheaper than the one under negotiation by the UPA, but also makes that very interesting conclusion that the IAF has asked for ‘unnecessary’ India-specific enhancements. Wonder which ones!


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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby V_Raman » 13 Feb 2019 13:09

Nikhil T wrote:Hindu: Rafale deal not on ‘better terms’ than UPA-era offer

Wow. The Hindu has put up the entire 8 page dissent note submitted by three members of the Indian Negotiating Team. Regardless of the concerns raised, the MoD is leaking sensitive docs like crazy. NaMo has certainly upset some very powerful lobby. I’m afraid he’s losing the Rafale debate.


So, does this mean the actual price is revealed? Isn't that breach of contract?

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Kashi » 13 Feb 2019 16:24

arshyam wrote:Comments on that Hindu article are instructive.

Where are the comments?

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Austin » 13 Feb 2019 16:24

Rafale CAG report: A mixed bag for both opposition and government
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/ne ... 972931.cms

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby hemant_sai » 13 Feb 2019 16:54

V_Raman wrote:
Nikhil T wrote:Hindu: Rafale deal not on ‘better terms’ than UPA-era offer

Wow. The Hindu has put up the entire 8 page dissent note submitted by three members of the Indian Negotiating Team. Regardless of the concerns raised, the MoD is leaking sensitive docs like crazy. NaMo has certainly upset some very powerful lobby. I’m afraid he’s losing the Rafale debate.


So, does this mean the actual price is revealed? Isn't that breach of contract?

Yes, price is revealed to some extent but not to the point. Price is revealed in 2 sections as aircraft package and weapons package.
1) Aircraft package (including ISE, maintenance support ) - 7169 mln Euros
2) Weapons package - 710-720 mln Euros
3) ISE proposed cost by French Side - 1400 mln Euros

What I understood from 08 pages that trio who wrote this report/dissent note, were inclined towards cancelling the deal and also supporting Euro-fighter case.
1) Trio mentioned that earlier MMRCA negotiations were based on fixed pricing, which is surprising as RM in house claimed that there was price escalation clause in MMRCA.
2) Trio claims that for new 36 aircraft deal, Dassault changed pricing model from fixed to escalation based. Whereas RM in house claims that it was in MMRCA as well and in-fact they negotiated this escalation clause in better way.
3) Somewhat understandable dissent on charges for ISE -for which they gave ref of Mirage deal where it was around 400mln euros, so they see 1400 mln euros as too much for similar exercise.
4) Problem of INT team and RM that time - they didn't take this dissent note seriously :). I mean they didn't imagine possible future political drama and how this dissent will be used to feed it. INT team should have wrote 16-page reply on why the dissent note can be sidelined. :-)

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby nandakumar » 13 Feb 2019 17:18

Why did India require 7 member team when the French side had just one representative. This is typical of Indian Bureaucracy. Pack it with as many people on the civilian bureaucracy side and have some token military presence and swing the deal any which way they want it. The dissent note was pure filibustering tactic to wring out some quid pro quo from Dassault. Unfortunately the Modi Government called their bluff. Yes, it did not reckon with the political fallout and N Ram's exclusives! But that's about it.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby JayS » 13 Feb 2019 17:33

V_Raman wrote:
Nikhil T wrote:Hindu: Rafale deal not on ‘better terms’ than UPA-era offer

Wow. The Hindu has put up the entire 8 page dissent note submitted by three members of the Indian Negotiating Team. Regardless of the concerns raised, the MoD is leaking sensitive docs like crazy. NaMo has certainly upset some very powerful lobby. I’m afraid he’s losing the Rafale debate.


So, does this mean the actual price is revealed? Isn't that breach of contract?


No. More re-hashed stuff. Nothing new. Manu Pubby wrote article on it like ages ago. GOI has already explained there side.

This is nothing but Information War of Attrition. 2019 is being termed as Biggest battle for Bharat. Mahabharat of 2019, if you will. The good side should not lose hope and patience. What C-system is doing is trying to overwhelm with intricate details. Sooner or later people will get tired of it and stop reading into details and start taking it for granted that if there is so much technical discussion there must be something wrong somewhere, daal me kuchh to kala hai. Same kind of war was lost in 2004 by people of India and they were punished by a dark decade. Do remember its not NaMo's loss, he will go back, be CM of GJ or something. Or wait 5yrs for another chance. Its Bharat's loss, and we don't get los time back. If one can counter this propaganda in any which way one should do that, at least help those who are taking efforts spread correct info.

One thing with BJP is that they do not try to put their people in the system. The c-system chaploos dogs are biting them back. This is why BJP need to clean the system when they have power. Congress didn't wait even a week in MP.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Thakur_B » 13 Feb 2019 17:42

Time to read the OSA to the Chindu.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby chetak » 13 Feb 2019 18:01

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby CRamS » 13 Feb 2019 18:23

Correct me if I am wrong, but from my cursory reading of reports on CAG report, I don't see any allegations of hanky panky. Remember, this was the central plank of Pappu and his cohorts. If now the debate moves to the merits and de-merits of the deal, thats a separate issue. And BJP should watch Pappu media for this. Blurring the line between disagreements over the deal and corruption charges.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 13 Feb 2019 18:26

Well this is a BIG win for the Modi Govt. First the Supreme Court and now the CAG. RaGa will still continue to lie, but that is irrelevant now. Two of India's non-partisan institutions have given the clean chit to the Modi Govt. What else is left?

If the BJP wins again in 2019, the political capital for additional Rafales are very strong. I am very happy with the CAG report.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 13 Feb 2019 18:29

Nikhil T wrote:Hindu: Rafale deal not on ‘better terms’ than UPA-era offer

Wow. The Hindu has put up the entire 8 page dissent note submitted by three members of the Indian Negotiating Team. Regardless of the concerns raised, the MoD is leaking sensitive docs like crazy. NaMo has certainly upset some very powerful lobby. I’m afraid he’s losing the Rafale debate.

Abhijit Iyer Mitra has posted excellent counter arguments to N Ram's latest supposed scam. Posting them soon.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby ArjunPandit » 13 Feb 2019 18:31

Thakur_B wrote:Time to read the OSA to the Chindu.

they tried something of this sort with NDTV and the entire cabal pounced on the govt. Better not to expend political capital when these guys are wearing themselves thin and out....think from their perspective. Nothing they have thrown has stuck beyond 3-5 days. Their faces are not taken seriously. New pawns/bishops are losing credibility by the day. If there is a 2019 majority, i expect the eco system to unravel itself like surrendering pakis in '71

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 13 Feb 2019 18:31

First set of counter arguments by Abhijit Iyer Mitra. Click on link below and enjoy :)

https://twitter.com/Iyervval/status/1095652565142794241

This is the second set (the *MAIN* counter argument to N Ram's latest article in The Hindu).
Please read this to clear doubts.....

https://twitter.com/Iyervval/status/1095628671606415361

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 13 Feb 2019 18:33

Another set by Vishnu Som...

https://twitter.com/VishnuNDTV/status/1 ... 2663467008

Also read this set by Vishnu as well. Very instructive.

https://twitter.com/VishnuNDTV/status/1 ... 1029925888

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby nam » 13 Feb 2019 18:44

So based on CAG reports, Rafale was given some leeway.. Something which I have been recently suspecting.

IAF wanted Mirage, then Rafale. It just wanted Rafale and would have known, it would be quoted cheaper than EF, but higher than F16,F18 & Gripen. All "lower cost" competitor were removed using technical criteria.

Let only EF through and vola.. you have Rafale as L1 :D

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 13 Feb 2019 18:47

Ajai Shukla selectively tweeting his views on the CAG report. Hilarious to read. See below...

https://twitter.com/ajaishukla/status/1 ... 6452891648 ---> Only Eurofighter passed IAF's technical evaluation, which means all others fighters should have been ruled out. CAG notes: "Five of the six aircraft could not meet all the ASQR parameters [IAF requirements]. Rafale aircraft could not meet 9 ASQR parameters prescribed in the RFP."
So he admits the UPA Govt messed up this acquisition! The above tweet clearly shows who he is batting for!

https://twitter.com/ajaishukla/status/1 ... 4260557826 ---> CAG’s Rafale report card:

On plus side: Govt paid 2.86% less than 126-Rafale price (govt claimed 9% lower)

But… CAG flags:

1. Why only 36 fighters
2. No sovereign guarantees
3. No bank guarantees
4. No Escrow
5. Delivery not faster

Balances between BJP and Indian National Congress.
So he finally admits the BJP deal was cheaper than the Congress deal? :lol:
That is HUGE. Because he kept on harping about the cost escalation in the NDA deal.
And answers for all his highlighted flags have been given.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 13 Feb 2019 18:50

Burnol! Burnol! :lol:

https://twitter.com/t_d_h_nair/status/1 ... 6759863296 ---> Reading the CAG report shows, this report is a sham because while it goes in length on the process followed for 126 MMRA, It is completely silent on who authorised the PM and on what basis he could announce a defence deal and the process Modi govt followed to reach the number 36.

https://twitter.com/t_d_h_nair/status/1 ... 4671408128 ---> Even if CAG redacted the price of Rafale deal, it indicates, the deal value is nearly 60,700 crore. CAG report is silent on the bank / sovereign guarantee. This report is just an additional support for Modi’ govt’s cover up. Nothing more.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 13 Feb 2019 18:54

Indian Audit Throws Unforgiving Light On 2008-2012 Rafale and Eurofighter Selection Process
https://www.livefistdefence.com/2019/02 ... ocess.html

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby nam » 13 Feb 2019 18:55

https://twitter.com/t_d_h_nair/status/1 ... 6759863296 ---> Reading the CAG report shows, this report is a sham because while it goes in length on the process followed for 126 MMRA, It is completely silent on who authorised the PM and on what basis he could announce a defence deal and the process Modi govt followed to reach the number 36.


The people of this nation did. When they voted for him. PM is the final authority.
Last edited by nam on 13 Feb 2019 19:15, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 13 Feb 2019 18:56

https://twitter.com/livefist/status/1095558508563623937 ----> Updated list of IAF’s combat aircraft acquisition pipeline:

* 36 Rafales ---> okay, now that is interesting!
* 110 To-Be-Decided Fighters
* 83 LCA Tejas Mk.1A
* 9-18 Su-30 MKI
* 21 MiG-29

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 13 Feb 2019 18:57

nam wrote:
who authorised the PM


The people of this nation did. When they voted for him. PM is the final authority.

Please edit your post and provide link. I will delete my post after you do it.

By the way, +108 to you Sir! Fully agree.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 13 Feb 2019 19:01

https://twitter.com/ANI/status/1095565053510610945 ---> CAG report, tabled before Rajya Sabha today, says compared to the 126 aircraft deal, India managed to save 17.08% money for the India Specific Enhancements in the 36 Rafale contract.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 13 Feb 2019 19:05

https://twitter.com/visually_kei/status ... 3486729217 ---> Rahul Gandhi: Raksha Mantri, Finance Minister and PM Modi said that the jets were about 9% to 20% cheaper. The CAG demolishes these lies and states the jets were only 2.86% cheaper.

in response to the above....

https://twitter.com/mehta_saien/status/ ... 3684111360 ---> So Rahul Gandhi himself admits that This Rafale deal is cheaper and better than UPA non-deal :lol:

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 13 Feb 2019 19:06

CAG report highlights delivery of Rafale aircraft 'faster by a month' in current inter-governmental agreement
https://www.firstpost.com/india/cag-rep ... 79001.html

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 13 Feb 2019 19:07

https://twitter.com/ians_india/status/1 ... 1738826753 ---> Going by inordinate delays in realization of defence contracts, the deal to buy 36 French Rafale fighter jets broke speed records, a report by the CAG indicates.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby arshyam » 13 Feb 2019 19:08

Kashi wrote:
arshyam wrote:Comments on that Hindu article are instructive.

Where are the comments?


Sorry, didn't realize the above link didn't show the comments. There was a linked article along with these images, and the comments were there: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ ... 253566.ece

Some samples:
Pramod Patil
8 hours ago

As per DPP norms, standard clauses as well as sovereign guarantee and offsets are not mandatory in respect of IGA. One can easily observe that India was in a very weak bargaining position, the real culprit being the inexplicable delay of 2 years by the UPA in finalising the contract. Is the 2011 bench mark valid after delay of 2 to 3 years? Alignment of the benchmark price has to be done. Blind adherence to fixed costing after 3 years delay is only wishful thinking. Similarly, bank guarantee was an essential condition in case of earlier pricing. In 2016, guarantee cost was saved due to IGA. This benefit has to be factored into the pricing calculation . Furthermore, Offset was insisted upon though not mandatory in IGA backed deals. What about benefit to the economy on account of this ?Thirdly, Eurofighter planes manufactured by a consortium of four nations. Forget sovereign guarantee & escrow facility, even IGA was not feasible for Eurofighters.

kishore
8 hours ago

I ask the same question again, where is the corruption? Who got how much kick backs?..you keep publishing opinions and dissent notes. In my own little family we have so many opinions only when buying a colour tv. Can you also write an investgative article ss to why UPA could not conclude the deal in 10 yrs?

There are of course comments supporting both sides, but I was surprised by the number of comments questioning The Hindu's narrative (and even more surprised The Hindu published them). Looks like there is a significant number of people not buying it.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 13 Feb 2019 19:10

Know, what is in the CAG Report on Rafale. A big victory for PM Modi!
https://www.inreportcard.in/know-what-i ... -1702.html

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby chetak » 13 Feb 2019 21:26

https://twitter.com/MinhazMerchant/stat ... 0971139074 ---> Dear ⁦Rahul Gandhi⁩, Qatari Air Force paid Rs 1,875 crore for fully loaded Rafale jet in 2015. Indian Air Force is paying Rs 1,640 crore for similarly fully loaded Rafale jet in 2019. Read my column so that you don’t make false statements in future.

Rafale controversy: A lie travels halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes

By Minhaz Merchant

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 13 Feb 2019 21:29

Thank you Chetak Sir. I removed the previous posts and edited the one above as well.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 13 Feb 2019 23:13

https://twitter.com/MinhazMerchant/stat ... 3096429569 ---> If Modi had given Anil Ambani 30,000 crores, as loonies in Cong claim, Anil wouldn’t have sat in SC half of yesterday & today with his counsel Kapil Sibal fighting bankruptcy proceedings.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rishi_Tri » 13 Feb 2019 23:26

Supreme Court investigation - Cleared, CAG investigation - Cleared. Pending Investigation - 10 Janpath. :)

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 13 Feb 2019 23:27

The Anti-Rafale Campaign Would Go Down As One Of The Lowest Points Of Indian Media
https://swarajyamag.com/defence/the-ant ... dian-media

By Major General Mrinal Suman (Retd), 12 February 2019

The author commanded his regiment in the Kargil-Siachen sector and was the Task Force Commander at Pokharan for sinking shafts for the nuclear tests. He is a prolific writer and is considered to be the foremost expert on myriad aspects of India’s defence industry, procurement regime and offsets.

Snapshot

* The Rafale deal was a master stroke by the Indian government to make up critical deficiencies of the air force in an expeditious, diligent and far-sighted manner.

* It is grossly unfair to invent wild allegations about it, in the hope that some accusations may stick.

For the evolution of healthy democratic practices, it is essential that the opposition keeps the government on its toes, through unrelenting questioning of their policies and performance. However, such criticism should be objective and based on facts. False accusations invariably backfire and show the critics as unscrupulous and untrustworthy entities. They lose their credibility and the public starts considering them to be have adversarial interests. Such a development does immense damage to the body politic and psyche of the nation. Two recent incidents are recalled here.

Alleged Waiver Of Anti-Corruption Clauses In The Rafale Deal

Headlines of a newspaper report dated 11 February 2019 screamed that the government made unprecedented concessions with regard to critical provisions for anti-corruption penalties and making payments through an escrow account in the Inter Government Agreement (IGA) signed between India and France on 23 September 2016. The paper claims that the provisions of the Defence Procurement Procedure-2013 (DPP) were violated by not adhering to the mandatory Standard Contract Document, given at chapter V of the procedure. It goes on to accuse the government of dropping clauses on “Penalty for use of Undue Influence, Agents/Agency Commission, and Access to Company Accounts” in the supply protocols which form part of the standard contract document. One does not know whether to pity the said newspaper for its sheer ignorance of the procedure or to slam it for malicious and unethical reporting. The paper has most dishonestly omitted to inform the readers that the Standard Contract Document is not applicable to IGA. It is yellow journalism and scandal-mongering at their worst.

Para 60 of DPP unambiguously states, “The Standard Contract Document at Chapter V indicates the general conditions of contract that would be the guideline for all acquisitions.... However, for single vendor procurements, if there is a situation where Govt of India has entered into agreements with that vendor/country regarding specific contractual clauses, then the terms and conditions of such agreements would supersede the corresponding standard clauses of DPP 2013.”

Para 71 of DPP specifically refers to procurement proposals under IGA. It reads, “There may be occasions when procurements would have to be done from friendly foreign countries which may be necessitated due to geo-strategic advantages that are likely to accrue to our country. Such procurements would not classically follow the Standard Procurement Procedure and the Standard Contract Document but would be based on mutually agreed provisions by the Governments of both the countries.”

It needs to be recalled here that India has been buying defence equipment on government to government basis from Russia for decades. Similarly, starting with the purchase of AN/TPQ-37 Fire Finder counter-battery artillery radar sets in 2002, India has signed many major deals with the US government. No IGA has followed the Standard Contract Document and the agreements do not contain any so-called anti-corruption clauses. The foreign governments consider it an affront. They resent Indian government trying to occupy the high moral ground of being the paragon of honesty and treating other parties as devious connivers who need to be kept under the leash of anti-corruption clauses. IGA is a solemn commitment between the two sovereigns, based on mutual trust. The very idea of one government asking the other to give undertaking on integrity issues is an anathema to international relations. Similarly, the point raised about sovereign guarantee is totally misplaced. No country gives that. It must be appreciated that the French government went out of its way to give a letter of comfort to satisfy Indian sceptics.

The Case Of The Infamous Note

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A note initiated by Dy Secy (Air II) on 24 November 2015 has been published by the said paper to claim that Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had been having parallel parlays on the Rafale deal. The note throws up many disturbing issues.

Why did Deputy Secretary (Air II), who had nothing to do with the Rafale deal initiate such a note? As shown in the organisation tree below, there are three well-defined verticals in the Department of Defence of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), each under an additional secretary level officer.

Additional Secretary-I deals with revenue expenditure and routine administrative matters of the three services. He has nothing whatsoever to do with capital procurement, not even remotely. Deputy Secretary (Air II) comes under Joint Secretary (Air). His channel of reporting is through Joint Secretary (Air) and Additional Secretary-I. Indian bureaucracy is notorious for guarding its turf aggressively and brooks no interference from intruders. Why was Deputy Secretary (Air II) allowed to meddle in capital procurement?

The acquisition wing under DG Acquisition is the executive arm of the Defence Acquisition Council and is responsible for the acquisition of new weaponry and defence systems. Contract Negotiating Committee (CNC) is constituted under the aegis of DG Acquisition. As per Appendix B of DPP-2013, the standard composition of CNC consists of acquisition manager, technical manager, finance manager, advisor (cost), quality control officer, user representative, repair agency representative and representative of contract management branch at the service headquarters. Most members are of joint secretary level. There is no representative of additional secretary-I.

Normally, acquisition manager heads CNC. However, DG Acquisition may nominate a service officer to head CNC with the approval of the Defence Minister. In the case of the Rafale deal, Air Marshal S P B Sinha, an officer with outstanding credentials and impeccable probity record was handpicked to head CNC. The country could not have selected a more suitable officer.

The question arises as to what prompted Deputy Secretary (Air II), a much junior officer, to meddle in the matters that did not concern him at all? Was it done at someone’s behest? Was it a part of a well-orchestrated campaign to derail the Rafale deal?

Further, why did Deputy Secretary (Air II) not follow the laid-down chain of correspondence? Why did he bypass his own Joint Secretary and Additional Secretary-I to address the note directly to the Joint Secretary of the Acquisition Wing with whom he had no dealings whatsoever?

More importantly, why did the Acquisition Manager, DG Acquisition and Defence Secretary not question Deputy Secretary (Air II) for his locus standi in the matter? Was this issue beyond the competence of these bureaucrats or were they a party to the malicious plot or did they lack courage to tick him off for interfering in matters that did not concern him? Instead, they took serious cognisance of the note. Surprisingly, quite unlike the functioning of the lethargic Indian bureaucracy, the note moved with abnormal speed. Joint Secretary of the Acquisition Wing and DG Acquisition saw the note on the day it was initiated, i.e 24 November 2015. What was the hurry? Was any higher-up overseeing and expediting the movement of the file?

Perhaps, the strangest aspect of the whole affair is the fact that a junior officer in the MoD could have the audacity to fault the functioning of PMO’s office and accusing it of weakening the negotiating position of MoD. Indian bureaucracy is notorious for its spinelessness and sycophancy. No junior officer will ever dare to use such harsh language for the PMO’s office. Something is certainly amiss.

Finally

It is apparent even to the laypersons that a deliberate and concerted campaign is being carried out to tarnish the image of the government and to prevent it from placing repeat orders on Dassault. The schemers pretend to smell a rat where none exist. In fact, they are attempting to plant a rat to discredit the Rafale deal. It becomes worse when a reputed media house is seen as an unprincipled, unethical but masquerading as a champion of probity in public affairs.

It must be conceded that in a major procurement of this nature, all officials involved tend to offer their considered opinion and advice to make the deal rock solid. It is their duty and they are fully justified to suggest various safeguards. The final decision making powers lie in the hands of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). It is for CCS and other empowered entities to weigh all suggestions and take the final call.

Indian bureaucracy is like a quagmire. Every bureaucrat has mastered the art of playing safe by putting up incongruous and infructuous notings on files that can stall the process for ever. If the decision-makers get cowed down, no proposal will ever fructify. As the Rafale deal shows, only a strong leader like Narendra Modi could have overcome the impediments created by the vested interests and the grossly spineless bureaucracy.

It is grossly unfair to invent wild allegations, in the hope that some accusations may stick. There has been no trail or even a hint of any sleaze money in the Rafale deal so far. There were no middlemen or agents. In fact, it should be considered a master stroke by the Indian government to make up critical deficiencies of the air force in an expeditious, diligent and far-sighted manner.


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