Hyderabad: AICC leader Rahul Gandhi on July 29, 2020, on his official Twitter account claimed that the Rafale jets price would have been Rs 526 crore instead of Rs 1,670 crore each.
The claim that each aircraft was priced at Rs 1,670 crore instead of Rs 526 crore is FALSE.
Due to various reasons, the prices have doubled over a period of time. Supreme court also gave a clean chit to the present Government of India mentioning that there are no irregularities in the procurement of the Rafale fighter jets.
As per DNA, India, in January 2012, Rafale was declared as the winner. Its price quote was between $60-65 million (Rs 373-Rs 400 crore). A top defence ministry official said the price of a fighter jet made by Dassault could now cost $120 million (Rs 746 crore) whereas the second bidder, Eurofighter, had quoted $80-85 million ( Rs 497- Rs 528 crore).
"The price hike would mean that the deal would cost India nothing less than $28-30 billion (Rs 1.75 lakh crore – Rs 1.86 lakh crore)," said an Indian Air Force (IAF) official, who is privy to discussions of the cost negotiation committee.
The defence ministry, headed by A.K. Antony, has been losing his confidence after the cost doubled compared to the original estimate. With the general elections just months away, Antony was not sure about the fate of the deal, a defence ministry official said. "As the negotiations continued, the cost spiralled out of hand. It was a major worry," he told DNA, India.
An IAF official said that in 2007 when the tender was floated, the cost of the deal was $12 billion (Rs 42,000 crore). When the lowest bidder was declared in January 2012, the cost of the deal shot up to $18 billion (Rs 90,000 crore).
As per the Economic Times, on Nov 14, 2019, the Supreme Court gave a clean chit to the fighter jet case. In 2018, the apex court had given clean chit to the Narendra Modi government on allegations of irregularities in the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets by India from France.
As per the judgement of the Supreme Court: "Perception of individuals cannot be the basis of a fishing and roving enquiry by this court, especially in such matters. We, thus, dismiss all the writ petitions, leaving it to the parties to bear their own costs. We, however, make it clear that our views as above are primarily from the standpoint of the exercise of the jurisdiction under Article 32 of the Constitution of India which has been invoked in the present group of cases."
Hence, the claim is FALSE.