French portal Mediapart reported late on Wednesday (10 October) that Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Dassault Aviation Loïk Segalen had said in May 2017 that the firm’s joint venture with Anil Ambani’s Reliance was a “condition”, “imperative and obligatory” to get the deal for 36 Rafale aircraft from India.
According to the portal, the official had made the statement during a presentation on the joint venture between Dassault and Reliance Aerospace.
However, it has now emerged that the official may have been talking about the mandatory nature of the offsets and not about the deal with Reliance.
Experts have said that the French portal, whose report was extensively quoted by some Indian media outlets, misquoted the Dassault official. By some accounts, the official was informing the Workers’ Association representatives that the company has to fulfil its offset obligations under the Rafale deal and would have to move some part of the manufacturing set up of its Falcon Jets to India.
According to Dassault, he was informing the “Central Works Council of the creation of the joint venture" with Reliance “in compliance with French regulations”.
Under the offset policy, put in place by the Congress-led UPA government, foreign equipment manufacturers are required to invest a part of the contract value in India. As part of the Rafale deal, Dassault has agreed to execute offsets in India worth 50 per cent of the value of the purchase.
It is under the offset clause that Dassault has chosen Reliance, along with multiple other private and state-owned firms, to be its partners in India.
Earlier, the Congress had accused the government of favouring Anil Ambani’s Reliance over Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and alleged that the government had compromised with national security and the needs of the armed forces. It said that the government had pushed Dassault and the French government to select Reliance as a partner in India to provide benefit to Ambani.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.