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    Rafale row: Dassault Aviation clarifies it has “freely chosen” to partner Anil Ambani’s Reliance

    Rafale row: Dassault Aviation clarifies it has “freely chosen” to partner Anil Ambani’s Reliance

    Rafale row: Dassault Aviation clarifies it has “freely chosen” to partner Anil Ambani’s Reliance
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    By CNBC-TV18  IST (Updated)

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    The clarification by Dassault comes after French online investigative journal  Mediapart reported that the agreement with Reliance was presented as a “trade-off” to obtain the Rafale sales contract.

    French aircraft maker Dassault Aviation clarified on Wednesday that it had "freely chosen" India's Reliance Group for a partnership to manufacture parts for Rafale aircraft and Falcon 2000 business jets.
    "Dassault Aviation has freely chosen to make a partnership with India’s Reliance Group. This joint-venture, Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd (DRAL), was created February 10, 2017," the company said in a statement.
    The company further confirmed that "it has sold 36 Rafale aircraft to India within the framework of the September 2016 Inter-Government Agreement between France and India".
    The clarification by Dassault comes after French online investigative journal  Mediapart reported that the agreement with Reliance was presented as a “trade-off” to obtain the Rafale sales contract.
    According to the Mediapart story, which cites an internal Dassault document, deputy chief executive officer Loik Segalen told the company’s staff representatives in Nagpur in May 2017 that the Reliance partnership as “imperative and mandatory” to get the Rafale export contract to India.
    Dassault, however, clarified on Segalen's statement, saying "In compliance with French regulations" company executive Loïk Segalen informed the Central Works Council  "to fulfill some of the offsets commitment."
    The company further added that apart from the Reliance group, deals with companies such as BTSL, DEFSYS, Kinetic, Mahindra, Maini, SAMTEL, have been signed and other negotiations are ongoing with 'a hundred-odd other potential partners'.
    The Rafale deal is a defence agreement signed between the governments of India and France for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft in a fly-away condition as a part of the upgrading process of Indian Air Force equipment.
    The Congress has been alleging that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has been procuring each aircraft at a cost of over Rs 1,670 crore as against Rs 526 crore finalised by the then UPA government.
    The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to provide details of the decision making process in the Rafale fighter jet deal with France in a sealed cover but clarified that it does not want information on pricing and technical particulars.
     
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