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07:30 AM, September 2, 2016
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Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft

The Indian defense ministry has cleared the multi-billion euro deal to purchase 36 Rafale fighters and has sent the file to the Prime Minister’s office for final clearance.

The Council had last month reviewed the deal and directed the Indian negotiating team to submit its report "expeditiously". "The negotiating team has submitted its report, which is under examination," the minister said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha on Friday.

Parrikar had in July said that details including transfer of technology through offsets will emerge after the negotiations are completed.

While officials remained tightlipped about the state of the deal, a high-ranking source, when asked by PTI if it has been moved for clearance by the Cabinet Committee on Security, said, "I would not say no".

French sources have said they are expecting a positive development this month.

The minister had said aircraft being procured will have advanced features like Advanced Electronically Scanned Array Radar, mid-air refuelling and advanced electronic warfare equipment as part of its design.

According to PTI, the deal is estimated to be around 7.89 billion Euros.

The price was brought down from nearly 10 billion Euros, as sought initially, due to various reasons, including the discount offered by the French government and reworking of some of the criteria.

The deal comes with the clause of delivering 50 per cent offsets, creating business worth at least 3 billion Euros for smaller Indian companies and creating thousands of new jobs in India through the offsets.

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