Millennium Post

Embraer aircraft deal: Defence Ministry wants CBI, ED probe

Government sources said that since the allegations were of a serious nature, the CBI and the ED have been asked to probe. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had earlier this week said that, “If there is a criminal angle, then the CBI will probe as the Ministry cannot”.

“If only procedural issues are involved, then the Defence Ministry can do an internal investigation,” he had said. The deal for purchase of three Embraer aircraft during the UPA regime has kicked up dust with US authorities going into alleged payment of kickbacks.

The deal has come under the scanner of the US Justice Department which has been probing Embraer for alleged payment of bribes to secure contracts. DRDO has already sought a report from the Brazilian firm, which has said it has been looking into graft allegations over the last five years.

The deal was signed in 2008 between Embraer and the DRDO for three aircraft equipped with indigenous radars for AEW&C (airborne early warning and control systems).

Rafale deal: All details fixed, IGA being finalised
The much anticipated contract for 36 Rafale fighter jets is likely to be sealed soon as both the countries have finalised the details for the deal which will cost about Euro 7.87 billion.

Government sources said the cost, offsets and service details have been finalised and the work is being done on the Inter Governmental Agreement for the deal. A “working team” from France is already in town with their own translators and are going through the contract, running into several thousand pages, with their Indian counterparts. The sources said that once the IGA is firmed up, the document will go back to the Cabinet Committee on Security for a final clearance.

They said that India has been able to save over Euro 590 million through tough price negotiations which began in January this year. Though the deal could have been firmed up earlier, issues like pricing and offsets took time as India wanted a better contract. Following intervention by Prime Minister Modi late last year, France agreed for a 50 per cent offset clause.

This means creating business worth at least three billion Euros for Indian companies, both big and small, and generating thousands of jobs in India through offsets.

A high-level delegation from France could come down for the formal signing of the contract, French sources said. The delivery for the fighter aircraft is expected to begin in 2019, with an annual inflation capped at 3.5 per cent. The weapon systems, part of the deal, will also include the new-age, beyond visual range missile ‘Meteor’, and Israeli helmet mounted display.
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