India needs to know the truth on Rafale

By Rajan Kochhar

Dear Fellow Citizens,

This petition seeks your support for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to investigate the RAFALE fighter aircraft deal, that Narendra Modi’s Government has entered into with the Government of France.

We believe that this deal must be investigated for the following reasons

  1. All key decisions, including price, number of aircraft, partners etc. that have been committed to in this deal appear to have been taken by a single man Shri Narendra Modi, by-passing established processes and procedures that have been put into place, including the high level, Cabinet Committee on Security.
  2. The price per aircraft has increased by about 300% over the price agreed to by the previous Government. Till date the Government has not been able to offer a reasonable explanation for this price increase. Instead it has dropped a veil of secrecy around the deal, refusing to divulge pricing details, claiming the information will compromise “national security”. This has further fueled speculation that this deal has been corrupted and needs to be independently scrutinized.
  3. Anil Ambani, whose group has consolidated debt in excess of 45,000 Cr. was a made a beneficiary of the “Off Set” clauses worth 30,000 Cr that are a part of the deal. “Off Sets” represent the total value of purchases that the foreign manufacturer of the RAFALE has tomake, from companies in India, in exchange for India buying its aircraft. In addition, in presentations made to investors, Reliance Defence has claimed that it will also benefit to the tune of 100,000 Cr. over the next 50 years, by providing spares and maintenance for the 36 RAFALE aircraft the Indian Government is purchasing! So, the total benefit to Anil Ambani’s, Reliance Defence is:

100,000 Cr. + 30,000 Cr. = 130, 000 Cr!!

  1. By reducing the original deal from 126 RAFALE aircraft to just 36, the PM has compromised our national security. Re-configuring the deal, has pushed back deliveries of the aircraft our Air Force desperately needs by at least three years. As a result, our Air Force today is woefully under prepared and poorly equipped to defend our skies in the case of an eventuality. Besides, when the Air Force had already established that they needed 126 aircraft to meet their requirements, an order of just 36 aircraft makes a mockery of the Air Force’s threat assessment and plans, leaving a serious gap in our air defences and our ability to take the battle to our enemies, should we need to.
  2. The PM’s decision to buy Made in France aircraft off the shelf, makes a mockery of his own “Make in India”emphasis. It has denied India the opportunity to become self-reliant in the manufacture of advanced aircraft and set us back at least a decade in terms of access to advanced aerospace technologies. The only beneficiaries of this strange policy U turn, are foreign aircraft manufacturers.
  3. The cancellation of the 126 aircraft order, 108 of which would have been manufactured at HAL, with technology transferred to it, has irreparably damaged HAL. The only beneficiaries of the destruction of this valuable Public Sector Enterprise (PSU) are foreign aircraft manufacturers and private Indian companies, like Reliance Defence.

WE the PEOPLE of INDIA have the right to hold our elected Government to the highest standards of transparency and accountability. A Joint Parliamentary Committee will help establish whether the grave charges that have been made against the Government in the RAFALE deal are justified. A Government that has nothing to fear should have no hesitation in allowing such an enquiry to take place: to put to an end to all speculation about rampant corruption in the RAFALE deal.

Please sign & support this petition, asking that the Government order a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to investigate the RAFALE deal.

Rajan Kochhar started this petition to the people of India.

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