New Delhi: Just as new revelations roil in Rafale deal, N Ram, former editor-in-chief of The Hindu, in an enlightening op-ed laid bare its nuances.
Harking back to his blitzkrieg articles on Befors scandal, N Ram referred to the conclusion of the seven-member Indian Negotiating Team (INT).
Their conclusion dubbed Modi’s new deal as not on ‘better terms’ than the offer made by Dassault Aviation during the procurement process for 126 aircraft under the United Progressive Alliance government.”
Another conclusion by the team found the delivery schedule of first 18 flyaway Rafale aircraft as slower than for the same number of aircraft in the original procurement process.
Thus, the Op-ed rams home the contradictions in the government claims of cheaper deal and faster delivery of aircraft, as submitted before the Supreme Court.
More important, three domain experts on INT including M. P. Singh, Adviser (Cost), a Joint Secretary-level officer from the Indian Cost Accounts Service; A.R. Sule, Financial Manager (Air); and Rajeev Verma, Joint Secretary & Acquisitions Manager (Air) recorded their strong note of dissent.
They submitted the same on 1 June 2016 to the Deputy Chief of Air Staff (DCAS), the chairman of the negotiating team.
The Op-ed reproduced their eight-page note expressing concern over the terms of the new deal.
The long read touches on various aspects of the deal and talks about issues including cost of bank guarantees, availability of cheaper aircraft, and delivery schedule, among others.