New Delhi: A top official of Dassault Aviation allegedly conveyed to his staff that the joint venture with Reliance to obtain 36 Rafale jet deal with India was mandatory.
According to the French investigative news outlet Mediapart, an internal document shows that the deputy chief executive officer of Dassault Aviation, Loïk Segalen, revealed during a presentation of the joint venture “Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd” that it was obligatory to accept the condition to pick Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence as an offset partner to obtain the contract for Rafale warplanes.
Earlier, Mediapart had also quoted former French president Francois Hollande as saying that “it was the Indian government that proposed this service group (Reliance), and Dassault negotiated with Ambani. We didn’t have a choice.”
This resulted in a huge controversy in India, following which Dassault Aviation issued a statement and rejected the report saying that the joint venture with Reliance was freely decided.
The France government, without negating Hollande’s remarks, issued a statement saying the government didn’t play a role in selecting the offset partner for Dassault.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced 36-jet Rafale deal with France during his visit to Paris on April 10, 2015. The new announcement has resulted in cancellation of 126 Rafale aircraft deal processed by the previous government.
Reliance Defence holds 51 per cent stake and Dassault Aviation holds 49 per cent stake in DRAL. Dassault Aviation has planned to invest 100 million euros in the DRAL factory in Nagpur.