New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday said the new CAG report admits that “technology transfer” was shelved in Rafale offsets and wondered whether the report opens a can of worms.Also Read - ‘Stop Talking About Secularism’: Amarinder Singh Slams Congress, Questions Alliance With Sena
Congress leader P Chidambaram said “The CAG finds that the vendors of the Rafale aircraft have not confirmed the transfer of technology under the offset contract.” Also Read - DRDO Recruitment 2021: Apply For 116 Apprentice Posts on drdo.gov.in, Check Last Date and Eligibility Criteria
“The offset obligations should have started on 23-9-2019 and the first annual commitment should have been completed by 23-9 2020, that is yesterday. Will the government say if that obligation was fulfilled,” he asked in a tweet. Also Read - Priyanka Gandhi Vadra Promises Smartphones, Scooty to Girls in UP if Party Comes to Power in 2022 Assembly Elections
“Is the CAG report the opening of a can of worms,” he further asked.
The government has always maintained that there has been no irregularity in the Rafale deal signed by it.
Raising the issue, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted, “Chronology of biggest Defense deal continues to unfold. The new CAG report admits that ‘technology transfer’ shelved in Rafale offsets. 1st, ‘Make in India’ became ‘Make in France’. Now, DRDO dumped for tech transfer. Modi ji will say – ‘Sab Changa si’ (all is well).”
At the party briefing, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said that as per the CAG report, the work on offsets is being done in the seventh year and the vendor would not do anything on offsets for the first six years.
He said the Congress has raised the issue in the country’s interest.
The Comptroller and Auditor General in its report released on Wednesday said that French aerospace major Dassault Aviation and European missile maker MBDA are yet to fulfil their offset obligations of offering high technology to India under the Rafale aircraft deal.
The Dassault Aviation is the manufacturer of the Rafale jets while the MBDA supplied the missile systems for the aircraft.
India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 to procure 36 Rafale jets at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore, and the offset obligations were part of the contract.
In its report tabled in Parliament, the national auditor said the Dassault Aviation and the MBDA proposed in September 2015 to discharge 30 per cent of their offset obligations by offering high technology to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), but the two firms are yet to do it.