‘Rafale deal likely to be concluded soon’

New Delhi: The deal for buying 36 Rafale jets from France is in its final stage, with some “fine tuning” going on, Defence Ministry sources said on Monday.

The deal for purchasing three dozen Rafale combat jets in fly-away condition was inked during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France in April 2015.

Sources said the deal is in the final stage and there are some points are being worked upon.

A team from France in also present in the national capital, and both sides are keen on concluding the deal soon.

According to sources, the Prime Minister’s Office has pushed for concluding the deal soon, after more than a year-long negotiations, in which price had been a major sticking point.

While the final price after the negotiations has not been announced, India has bargained for bringing the price close to $8 billion.

In April this year, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), claimed in a post on social media that the deal has been finalised at $8.8 billion.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had however later clarified that it was not an official figure.

In 2012, India decided to ink a deal for 126 Rafale jets.

As the deal could not be worked out, the deal for the 36 Rafale combat jets came last year.

Both the sides also agreed to conclude an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for supply of the aircraft after which a Negotiating Team was constituted.

In an interview to IANS in May, Parrikar had said the deal is in the final stage and the deal would be concluded in “a couple of months”.