The 36 Rafale fighters which the Modi Government had decided topurchase off the shelf from France, may take some more time to fly into the country despite theDefence Ministry giving a go ahead to the Defence Acquisition Committee to expeditethe negotiations.
''There are still so many nitty gritties of the deal which needed to be sorted out, so no timeline could be given,'' sources in the French Embassy said here today.
That was the reason that the proposed stopover-visit of the Defence Minister of France was shelved at the last moment as the stage that would require his presence had not been reached yet.
According to sources, it is the offset clause over which the French are feeling uncomfortable
Under the off-set policy, first introduced as part of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) of 2005, a foreign company has to invest back a part of the deal into India.
But the 50 per cent offset clause was part of the now scrapped tender for 126 Multirole Combat Aircraft, most of which were to be built in India by Hindustan Aeronautics.
However, the negotiations could not make much progress due to the differences overtransfer of technology and price issues, which finally led the Government to go in forpurchase of a smaller scale.
The decision to buy off the shelf was taken as a take away of Prime Minister Narendra Modi'svisit to France in April this year. Moreover, the India Air Force was in dire need of theseaircraft as its strength had been depleting over the years with older aircraft being groundedwithout the new coming to replace them.UNI NAZ RSA AE 1737
-- (UNI) -- C-1-1-DL0091-333384.Xml