New Delhi: Amid a war of words with the Narendra Modi-led BJP government over India's Rafale fighter jet deal with France, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Friday clarified on various defence deals agreements reached under the previous UPA governments.
The Congress today released the then Defence Minister AK Antony's reply on the purchase of Mirage-2000 Warplanes in Lok Sabha in 2013. While asking the incumbent Narendra Modi government to share details of the highly 'secretive' Rafale deal, Rahul also sought to know from the ruling side the "purchase price" and other minutest details of each defence deals signed by it.
Rahul also addressed Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as “Mr Jaitlie” in his tweet and asked Defence Minister to tell the nation how much each Rafale jet cost.
Dear Mr Jaitlie,
You said the UPA never released prices of Defence purchases?
To nail your lie, here are 3 Parliamentary replies by the UPA with full transparency on pricing.
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) February 9, 2018
Here is the full text of the clarification issued by the Congress party on the various defence deals signed during the UPA tenure:-
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY OF DEFENCE LOK SABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION NO 2822 ANSWERED ON:15.03.2010
AIRCRAFT CARRIER ADMIRAL GORSHKOV MANISH TEWARI
(a) The initial price that was arrived at between India and Russia for the purchase and sale respectively of the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov;
(b)The number of times since the arrival at the initially negotiated price there has been an escalation in the price of the aircraft carrier;
(c)The final price of the Admiral Gorshkov that the Government would have to pay;
(d)Whether even after the cost escalations that have taken place there is still a price escalation clause in the contract re-negotiated between the two countries;
(e)the original delivery schedule of Admiral Gorshkov along with the amended delivery schedule of the aircraft carrier;
(f)The time by which it would be inducted into the Indian Navy;
(g)Whether any responsibility has been fixed on those responsible for this cost escalation and delay; and
(h)If so, the details thereof? Will the Minister of DEFENCE be pleased to state:-
MINISTER OF DEFENCE (SHRI A K ANTONY)
(a) to (h): A statement is attached.
STATEMENT REFERRED TO IN REPLY TO PARTS (a) TO (h) OF LOK SABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 2822 FOR ANSWER ON 15.3.2010
Contracts and supplementary agreements comprising repair and re-equipping, logistic support, training, etc were concluded with the Russian side for the acquisition of the aircraft carrier, ex-Admiral Gorshkov, in January 2004 at a cost of US Dollars 974 million.
The Russian side submitted a revised Master Schedule indicating a delay in the project and an increase in price for repair and re-equipping of the aircraft carrier, due to increase in the scope of work not originally envisaged.
The Government approved the proposal for conducting negotiations with the Russian side for finalizing a revised Repair and Re-equipping Contract and other related contracts/agreements affected due to delay in the project and Additional Works projected.
The negotiations have since been concluded by the Contract Negotiation Committee(CNC). The revised cost of USD 2330 million has been approved by the Government. Prices for the works to be carried out under the revised contracts/agreements are fixed.
The aircraft carrier was originally scheduled to be delivered in August 2008. The ship's delivery is re-scheduled to December 2012. Re-scheduling of the ship's delivery and revision in its cost were necessitated due to the emergence of Additional Works projected, the detailed agreed scope of trials, etc.
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY OF DEFENCE LOK SABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION NO 941 ANSWERED ON:04.03.2013
UPGRADATION OF AIRCRAFT KALIKESH NARAYAN SINGH DEO
(a)whether the cost of upgrades is included in the Life Cycle cost method of evaluation;
(b)whether there is a mechanism in place to ensure that the vendor does not arbitrarily quote a huge amount at the time of upgrade and if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefore; and
(c)the details of percentage of initial acquisition cost at which the contract for the Mirage Upgrade Programme was signed?
Will the Minister of DEFENCEbe pleased to state:-ANSWER
MINISTER OF DEFENCE (SHRI A.K ANTONY)
(a) & (b): The need to upgrade is driven by the changes in the operational requirements, changes in technology and will apply equally to all vendors. The Total Acquisition Cost model being followed by Ministry of Defence does not include upgrade costs as these are not predictable, quantifiable and verifiable at the time of making the procurement decision. In any case, major upgrade decisions are taken in a competitive environment and suitably negotiated, as and when the requirement arises.
(c) The last contracted price for each Mirage-2000 aircraft in the year 2000 was '133 crore. The contract for the upgrade was signed in 2011, wherein, the cost of upgrading one aircraft was '167 crore. Applying an escalation of 3.5% per annum as per the Pricing Policy Review Committee (PPRC), to the contracted cost of the year 2000, it works out to be '195 crore at 2011 levels. Thus, the upgrade has been undertaken at 85% of the escalated cost of the aircraft. However, this upgrade programme also includes fitment of advanced multi-mode-multi-target radar, reconfigured glass cockpit and advance avionics, state-of-the-an Electronic Warfare system and capability to launch advanced missiles.
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY OF DEFENCE LOK SABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION NO: 2318 ANSWERED ON D9.08.2010 PROCUREMENT OF SUKHOI AIRCRAFT
(a)whether the Cabinet Committee on Security has cleared the proposal for purchase of 42 Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft from Russia;
(b)if so, the details thereof, the total cost involved therein and the delivery schedule of the aircraft; (c)whether due tendering process was held for procurement of these aircraft; (d)if so, the details thereof; (e)whether the aircraft is proposed to be produced indigenously under the agreement; and
(f)if so, the details thereof?
Will the Minister of DEFENCEbe pleased to state:-ANSWER
MINISTER OF DEFENCE (SHRI A.K. ANTONY)
(a) & (b): The Defence Acquisition Council has accepted a proposal for the procurement of 42 Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft from M/s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, India.The proposal is being further progressed for submitting to the Cabinet Committee on Security. The estimated cost of the project is Rs.20107.40 crores and the aircraft is planned to be delivered during 2014-2018.
(c) to (f): The proposal is being progressed as a repeat order from M/s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, India under the Defence Procurement Procedure-2008.