Since France has offered a fresh proposal to break the impasse over Rafale deal, a delegation of Indian and French officials met on Wednesday afternoon.
“During the meeting, it was believed that French authorities gave a fresh proposal with amendments to make the Rafale deal more attractive. The Indian side is examining the proposal,” Indian Express news daily quoted an unnamed official as saying Thursday.
However the details of the meeting have not been disclosed.
The Price Negotiation Committee formed to work out modalities on the 36 Rafale warplanes has not been able to conclude its task as it has not been able to strike a compromise.
The Indo-French High Committee on defence cooperation meeting scheduled for March 9, 10 was chaired by the Defence Secretary G Mohan Kumar. Defence industry, procurement and research technology were the areas that were focussed. The status of several defence deals between the two nations was also discussed, including the Rafale jet and Short Range Surface to Air Missile joint development.
Dassault would continue this year (2016) to work on signing a deal to sell 36 Rafales to India as it seeks to underpin the ramp-up of fighter jet production. It was preparing for a possible additional sale of 90 Rafales to India,Eric Trappier, Dassault CEO was quoted as saying by Reuters Thursday.
In a joint statement on 25 January, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande had hoped to sort out the financial aspects in ‘couple of days’. Even Dassault Aviation had said it expected a complete agreement in four weeks.
Indian Defense minister had said India would consider the proposal only if the prices are reduced.
"The price is the problem that needs to be resolved as long as I do not get the right price, I cannot sign, but we resolved the other issues in terms of safeguards; procurement and manufacturing methods " Parrikar had said Feb 19 this year.
The amount of the contract is estimated at 12 billion euros quoted by France while Indian negotiators are refusing to go beyond 8 billion euros.