<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rejecting the government’s counter to its allegations on Rafael aircraft deal as “lameduck” explanation, Congress asked why the 36 Rafale aircraft were purchased on emergency basis when regular purchase had already been negotiated.Soon after Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman dismissed Congress allegations relating to the procurement deal for 36 “shameful” and held that such bickering was a “disservice” to the armed forces, Congress Communication chief Randeep Surjewala accused the government of “repeated attempts at shoddy cover up”.Alleging “complete non-transparency” in purchase of Rafale aircraft, Surjewala said India’s defence preparedness cannot be subject matter of politicking nor can the sacrosanct premises of Defence Ministry be “used for political mud slinging”.Repeating the allegations, Surjewala asked what is the price per aircraft of the 36 Rafale aircraft being purchased by Modi government and why are Modi government and Defence Minister “hiding” the purchase price.The Congress leader asked why was the public sector undertaking, HAL bypassed for getting 30,000 crore worth offset contract despite the work share agreement between HAL and Dassault Aviation signed in March 2014.”Why did the Prime Minister promote the interests of a private corporate entity over a public sector undertaking. Defence Minister has said that 36 Rafale aircraft were purchased on emergency basis. What was the need to buy aircraft on emergency basis when regular purchase had already been negotiated?”Why is it then that despite the emergency purchase and lapse of 34 months, not a single aircraft had been delivered? How long will it take for the delivery of aircraft? Shockingly, Defence Minister stated that offset deal for 50 percent of contract value has not been signed. If that is so, how has Reliance placed on its website the award of offset worth 30,000 crore in a joint venture with Dassault Aviation?,” Surjewala asked.Reliance Defence Ltd has rebutted the allegations and flagged “factual inaccuracies” in the Congress statement.The RDL said that the Joint Venture between Reliance Aerostructure Ltd and Dassault Aviation is a bilateral agreement between two private companies and Dassault Aviation selected Reliance Aerostructure Ltd as its joint venture partner. “The Indian Government has no role to play in this,” it has said.It said that that offset obligations are to be undertaken by Dassault Reliance Aerospace joint venture company and not by Reliance Defence.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Urban Development Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday rejected Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s offer to take over the DMRC, while suggesting that the city government may explore taking up the operations of its proposed phase IV as a “test case”.Puri also dismissed Kejriwal’s suggestion that the Centre and Delhi government share the operational expenses of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), saying it would be a violation of the existing policy governing the financing of metro projects.”While I appreciate your confidence, enthusiasm, and keenness to take on more responsibility, I am constrained to point out that this again is also not in line with existing policy.”The Policy in respect of 50:50 joint venture metro projects as is the case of DMRC, does not envisage metro operations either by the state or central governments. It is precisely for this reason that Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) have been created and are meant to do so,” Puri wrote in a letter to Kejriwal.Puri also dismissed Kejriwal’s claim that the DMRC’s efficiency is “below par”, saying its quality standards are comparable with the best in the world and it is one of the success stories of India.Yesterday, in a letter to Puri, Kejriwal had offered to take over the DMRC to make it more efficient and said his government was ready to provide half the funds needed to meet the gap in its finances for three months.Puri said Kejriwal’s suggestion that the Union government share the operational expenses of DMRC along with the Delhi Government is against the extant policy on the financing of metro rail projects.”Under this policy, the contribution of the Central Government is limited to half of the equity in respect of 50 : 50 Joint Venture Metro Projects, which is applicable to DMRC.”Besides violation of this policy, your suggestion has wider financial implications for such projects which are already operational in good number with more in the offing.Central Government again cannot be seen violating its own policies unmindful of the consequences,” he stated.The Union minister went on to suggest that the new Metro Rail Policy enables the states to propose, finance and execute metro projects giving complete operational autonomy, with a reminder on the poor financial health of the Delhi Transport Corporation, which is under the city government.”In view of your keenness to do so, I suggest that the Delhi Metro Phase-IV, which has already been delayed by about two and a half years, depriving about 40 lakh people of the national capital of the benefit of metro services, may be taken up for such autonomous execution and operation by the Delhi Government as a test case.”I am sure you will be guided by the experience of DTC before venturing into the same. My best wishes are with you in case you are ready to do so,” he said.