The Centre on Monday declared that the Rafale fighter aircraft contracted by the Narendra Modi government comes with a price tag of Rs 670 crore per plane, far less than the Rs 1,670 crore that the opposition Congress has been alleging.
The government chose to come out with the basic price through a written answer in Parliament by the Minister of State for Defence, Subhash Bhamre.
“The cost is approximately Rs 670 crore at prevailing exchange rate in November 2016 without associated equipment, weapons, India specific enhancements, maintenance support and services,” he said in response to questions from MPs Ravi Prakash Verma and Neeraj Shekhar.
The minister admitted that it did not include the cost of the trappings for arming the fighter jet. “The IGA (Inter-Governmental Agreement) for supply of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft envisages supply of aircraft in fly-away condition along with associated equipment.”
Congress has been alleging for weeks that the government has contracted the Rafale at hugely inflated prices. The total cost of the deal for the 36 Rafales is about Rs 59,000 crore.
The Congress claimed the UPA government had negotiated a price of Rs 526 crore per aircraft when it was processing a requirement for 126 aircraft.