CAG: 17.08% of money was saved on India-specific enhancements in contract for 36 Rafale planes

New Delhi: Compared to the deal for procurement of 126 fighter aircraft, India managed to save 17.08 per cent of money for the India-specific enhancements in the contract for acquisition of 36 Rafale planes, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said in its report tabled in Parliament on Wednesday.

It also said that the delivery schedule of the first 18 Rafale aircraft is better than the one proposed in the 126 aircraft deal, by five months.

The CAG said a Defence Ministry team in March 2015 recommended the scrapping of the 126 Rafale deal, saying that Dassault Aviation (manufacturer of Rafale plane) was not the lowest bidder and EADS (European Aeronautic Defence & Space Company) was not fully compliant with the tender requirements.

The process for procurement of 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) was initiated during the previous UPA government through tendering process and Rafale was selected as the lowest bidder.

The government auditor said that the IAF did not define the ASQRs (Air Staff Qualitative Requirements) properly and as a result, none of the vendors could fully meet the ASQRs.

ASQRs were changed repeatedly during the procurement process, the CAG said.