The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on capital acquisitions by the Indian Air Force (IAF) said the Rafale aircraft deal signed by the Centre in 2016 was 2.8 percent cheaper than the deal negotiated by the previous government.
The report tabled at the Parliament today suggested that India managed to save 17.08 percent money for the India Specific Enhancements in the 36 Rafale aircraft contract, as compared to the 126 aircraft deal proposed earlier.
According to Hindustan Times, the CAG report is comparing the Rafale deal with offers made by other manufacturers whose products were being considered, such as the Eurofighter Typhoon made by the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS).
Earlier in September 2018, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government was getting the Rafale fighter jets at a rate 9 percent cheaper than what the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) goverment had agreed upon.
India had wanted 13 specific changes to the Rafale jet to make it more suited to the country's defence parameters. The CAG report suggests that the cost of these upgrades is far cheaper now.
According to the CAG report, a Defence Ministry team in March 2015 recommended the scrapping of the previous 126-jet Rafale deal saying that Dassault Aviation was not the lowest bidder and the other player, European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, was not fully compliant with the tender requirements.
The auditor also noted that the Indian Air Force did not define the Air Staff Qualitative Requirements or ASQRs properly, so none of the vendors could fully meet the parameters.