Millennium Post

Oppn pans Rafale report, questions CAG's credibility

New Delhi: It seems the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India is on the verge of becoming another 'caged parrot' of the ruling party as the Opposition party has red-flagged several points in the much-awaited CAG report on Rafale deal that was tabled in the Parliament on Wednesday.

Dubbing the CAG as 'Chowkidar Auditor General', the Congress has alleged that the CAG report is a mere 'eyewash'. "The CAG report, which used to be an 'eye opener' for the government and a tool for the opposition parties to corner the government, has now become an instrument to cover-up the goof-ups of the government," a senior Congress leader said.

While pointing several flaws in the report, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said, "The price calculation has been opaque. It is the first time that CAG has redacted numbers."

"The argument was based on two things – price and the number of fighter aircraft that Air Force required. In the financial year 2015 Dassault Aviation manufactured and supplied 8 Rafale aircraft - 5 for France and 3 for Egypt," Gandhi said.

"At the production rate of 8 Aircraft per year, Dassault aviation would take at least ten years to complete its present backlog of Rafale planes. Considering the current backlog of 83 aircraft, the new deal that the Modi government has signed would get India the aircraft later than the original deal," the Congress chief said.

"Even on the price front, the government argument stands demolished. The new deal has been carried out to give Anil Ambani Rs 30,000 crore," Rahul said.

"The same note puts the benchmark price of the Rafale under the new deal at 55.6 per cent higher than the original deal," he said, adding, "There were no bank, sovereign guarantees."

However, Union Minister Arun Jaitley defended the CAG report and hit back at the Congress and other opposition parties. Jaitley in his tweet said, "Mahajhootbandhan (grand lies alliance) stands exposed by the report, which reaffirms the dictum that truth shall prevail."

Raising doubts over the credentials of CAG, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "Not only the report failed to mention the 'price' of Rafale aircraft, but the 'manufactured figure' of 2.86 per cent cheaper by CAG is also horribly fake & false."

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