Published: Sun, November 19, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Congress allegation on Rafael deal shameful: Defence Minister Sitharaman

Congress allegation on Rafael deal shameful: Defence Minister Sitharaman

"The UPA government from 2004-2014 could not arrive on a decision to address this critical necessity of fighters for the IAF". "The deal was finalised following a transparent procedure", Sitharaman told reporters.

The Defence Minister said the central government will remove the hurdles in domestic defence manufacturing. "Twelve long years of negotiations and still (there was) no decision, although critically recognising the need for strengthening the (Indian) Air Force", said Sitharaman while addressing a press conference here.

However, when asked repeatedly about comparative cost of each aircraft negotiated by the then UPA government and the rate at which the deal was sealed previous year, Sitharaman said she was not running away from sharing the details and asked the officials to give the figures to the media. She also pointed out that the deal was signed only in September 2016, nearly one and a half years after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the announcement in Paris in April 2015. The delivery of the jets is scheduled to begin from September, 2019.

Indian stocks surge on Moody's first upgrade in 14 years
Hailing the move, financial sector stalwarts too said it was long overdue and will reduce the borrowing cost for the country. Moody's Investors Service upgraded India's sovereign rating today to Baa2 from Baa3 with a stable outlook.

On Friday, Congress had countered Nirmala saying, there are repeated attempts to cover up the irregularities in the deal and it raises serious questions on "national interests" and security.

"I am not shying away from giving figures", she said, asking the Defence Secretary to share the numbers.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, after talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today, spoke about the deal as he expounded on the "strategic dimension" of the bilateral ties. "The country is seeking answers for the questions and she will have to answer it", he said.

3 more Legionnaires' cases - one fatal - reported in outbreak linked to Disneyland
Legionnaires' disease is a respiratory illness which can be contracted from inhaling microscopic water droplets in mist or vapor. Four of the 15 individuals are Orange County residents who did not visit the park, but lived or traveled in Anaheim.

What has provoked the Congress is the statement from Sitharaman that the allegations of corruption in the deal are "shameful".

The deal for buying 126 Rafale fighter jets - with 108 to be made in India - from France was initiated in 2000, she said, and the UPA government had started negotiating the price with the L-1 (lowest bidder), Dassault Aviation of France, in December 2012.

The final agreement for 36 Rafale jets was signed in 2016 after five rounds of discussions between Indian and French sides and approval by the Cabinet Committee on Security, she said.

Tax cut would benefit average Americans
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provides needed relief to the middle-class families and small businesses that drive our economy. Mortgage interest deduction: The House bill caps this deduction at $500,000, while the Senate leaves it at $1,000,000.

Seetharaman said the State had to work out a futuristic proposal as what it is going to do for the next 50 years as technology is becoming obsolete within a year. Why don't you question Prime Minister Modi on the Rafale deal, or on Amit Shah's son.

Like this: