The previous part of the article is about Rahul’s allegations on Modi and Ambani. This part of the article deals with the facts that Rahul is hugely ignorant of.
He was ignorant that Reliance Defence had signed an accord with Dassault Aviation just weeks before the French company emerged as the lowest bidder (L1) for the Government of India’s proposal of a $15 billion contest to supply the Indian Air Force with 126 Rafale fighter jets. That was in February or so of 2012 when Mukesh Ambani was the head of Reliance Defence.
Rahul is unlikely to be aware that apart from Reliance Defence, Dassault and its partners are currently talking to more than a hundred India companies for offset deals.
That accord of his “Mumma’s” government was just not known to him or he did not think it was “a compensation” his “Mumma” chose to give Mukesh Ambani in return for…
Rahul’s ignorance is unbelievable. He talked of PM Modi giving “compensation” of Rs.30,000/- crores to Anil Ambani in the Rafale deal. Ignoramus Rahul does not know that the contract itself is not of a fixed amount. With its joint venture operations, Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group was only “looking to target business worth Rs.21,000 crore as part of the offsets.”
Rahul also thinks that Dassault, Thales and Narendra Modi are the only participants in the offset clause of the Rafale deal. In fact, Safran, Thales and MBDA, are all part of the Rafale project.
Further, Rahul is unlikely to be aware that apart from Reliance Defence, Dassault and its partners are currently talking to more than a hundred India companies for offset deals. Some of these are L&T Defence, Kalyani Group, Mahindra Group, Godrej and Boyce, etc.
And just in case, Rahul Baba wants to know, the following from “The Economic Times” (of the prestigious Times of India group) is a very good idea of how PM Modi always thinks of India from when awarding international contracts.
1. Before Paris, Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence tried to enter Russian arms.
2. It negotiated for three mega-contracts but was rejected in favour of PSUs (Public Sector Undertakings.)
3. $1 billion deal for Kanova KA 226 went to HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd) while $2.5 billion deal for frigates went to Gujarat Shipyard Ltd.
4. Modi’s Government of India decided to waive Offset requirements for $5.5 billion S400 deal that Reliance wanted to partner.
5. Ambani was in Moscow in December 2015 but did not meet with any success.
6. Finally, Reliance Defence was in talks with the Russian United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) to be the Indian partner for building warships. The company had even tied up with a Ukrainian firm that made the engines for the warship. While Reliance Defence was chosen as the preferred yard by USC, the government did not process the contract under competitive bidding; instead, it nominated the state-owned Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) for the deal.
The document in Rahul’s hands then, was of a meeting between senior Dassault officials and the agitating workers of Dassault who were unaware of the Offset clause and were angry over the passing on large Dassault orders to Indian companies.
The main reason why Rahul, the Joker, continues to be what he has become is that our non-finance media does not confront and challenge him at all. Here’s a glaring example:
In the forenoon of October 16, 2018, in a “Breaking News” mode, “TimesNow” TV channel came out with what it called an article of a French independent journalist. That article, it would seem, cited an internal document of Dassault Aviation which spoke of some pressure which was allegedly put on Dassault to give an Offset contract to Reliance Defence of Anil Ambani, thereby denying that contract to HAL, the aviation Public Sector Undertaking of India. The allegation was something to do with a film in which France’s ex-Presiden Hollande’s live-in woman starred in a film made by Anil Ambani’s Reliance Entertainment. However, the article’s writer made it clear that she was not drawing any conclusion from that Dassault document.
TimesNow TV anchor, however, chose to dub the article as another problem to the Modi government against which Rahul Gandhi has been constantly accusing it of favouring Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence. Imagine such support to Rahul – without thinking twice.
On the other hand, the Republic TV Channel, however, said that, according to high Ministry of Defence sources told its Executive Editor, Abhishek Kapoor, that the document allegedly in Rahul’s hands then, was of a meeting between senior Dassault officials and the agitating workers of Dassault who were unaware of the Offset clause and were angry over the passing on large Dassault orders being slated to Indian companies.
Tragically, neither TimesNow nor Republic spoke a word about Kapoor’s discovery, then and thereafter.
This bizarre reaction from a top media outfit is not strange because our media is pitiably slack on its homework, especially on issues of business/commercial affairs.
Now onto the so-called neglect of HAL by the NaMo government in the Rafale deal.
Our non-finance media smells only “corruption” and laps it up. And loopholes can be lapped up easily as well as repeatedly, and never mind the truth. Thus it is as though HAL is being made a victim of NaMo government’s decision— despite at least a couple of recent official statements by Dassault that it chose Reliance Defence on its own, without any kind of pressure by anyone.
Our non-finance journalists must stop being no more than stenographers of what Rahul says at his media meets. They must show the same guts and spirit as they showed in snuffing out Minister M.J.Akbar out of office.
The fact is that HAL was in fact considered a part of the earlier deal being negotiated by the UPA government when 18 Rafale fighter jets were to be delivered by Dassault in a fly-away condition while 108 of those jets were to be manufactured by HAL itself in India. After that deal was dropped in February 2014 by the UPA itself on the so-called lack of money with the Government of India, the new Rafale deal signed by the NaMo contracted for only 36 jets — all to be made by Dassault Aviation and delivered to India in a fly-away condition. In this new deal, Dassault did not favour HAL as a manufacturer because of the following reasons:
(i) HAL’s work hours were 2.7 times more than that of an international company’s like Dassault, and the contract would, therefore, be considerably delayed.
(ii) HAL was unwilling to give performance guarantee of its jets which cost it some additional 5% of the then total value of its proposed deal with the UPA government. And, if HAL was assigned to manufacture a certain number of Rafale jets under the currently signed deal with the NaMo government, the fees for Transfer of Technology would also have to be borne by Dassault under the present 50% Offset clause agreed between the French and the India Government.
Hence, our non-finance journalists must stop being no more than stenographers of what Rahul says at his media meets. They must show the same guts and spirit as they showed in snuffing out Minister M.J.Akbar out of office. Will they rise to this occasion too?
Meanwhile, here’s a stunner from the introductory sentence of the “The Economic Times” of 16th October to Rahul and his cronies:
“Reliance Defence could get just over 3 per cent of the Rs 30,000-crore Dassault Aviation offsets contract, contrary to the impression that it is the biggest beneficiary of the Rafale fighter jets deal..”
So, just about Rs. 900/- crores from Dassault to Anil Ambani as against “a compensation” of Rs. 30,000/- crores from Prime Minister Modi. How will Rahul react? If you think he is going to be full of remorse and therefore apologise to PM Modi, I beg to disagree. Being obsessed with the India of Modi, he’s more likely to call press for cancelling the present Rafale deal for its complexity, and instead of negotiating a new contract with HAL, excluding all “suited booted” industrialists.
1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
His freelancing career began in "The Times of India" with a sports article published when he was a month shy of 20 years of age. He was also a regular political affairs columnist first for rediff.com for five years or so and then shifted to sify.com. He also wrote extensively for niticentral.com "till it stopped publication."
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