The Rafale deal sealed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is 2.8 per cent cheaper than the one negotiated by the previous Congress-led UPA government, says the report of the national auditor CAG.
The CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) report was submitted to the Rajya Sabha today. It does not include the controversial and key point of pricing, as the Defence Ministry maintained that these details could not be revealed. The parts in the report referring to cost are redacted, which may provoke fresh opposition attacks.
The Congress and other opposition parties have dismissed the report as biased because auditor Rajiv Mehrishi was Finance Secretary when the deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets was inked in 2016. The Congress alleges that Mr Mehrishi was "complicit in the irregularities" in the Rafale deal and alleged that "the bungling was happening at the highest level with his direct or indirect complicity and consent".
The cost of the basic aircraft is the same in both cases.
But the CAG report says compared to the 126-aircraft deal negotiated by the Congress-led government, India managed to save 17.08 per cent money for the India Specific Enhancements in the new contract. India had wanted 13 specific changes to the Rafale jet to make it more suited to the country's defence parameters. The CAG report suggests that the cost of these upgrades is far cheaper now.