NASHIK: The BJP-led Union government is killing the public sector undertakings (PSU)s in defence sector by favouring Reliance Aerospace Ltd over Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) on the Rafale Jets, said congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi on Wednesday. 

Addressing media persons here she said, “Modi is compromising the defence preparedness of the country by favouring a private firm.”

She alleged that by choosing Reliance Aerospace Ltd over HAL, Modi is repaying the industrial house that helped his party win elections. “By doing that, he (Modi) causing a serious threat to the national security,” she said.

French company Dassault, which is supplying the fighter jets, has entered into a joint venture with Reliance Group to meet its offset requirement of the contract.

Under defence offset, a foreign supplier of equipment agrees to manufacture a given percent of his product (in terms of value) in the buying country. Sometimes this may take place with technology transfer.

According to Chaturvedi, HAL is the best organisation to build Rafale with the Transfer of Technology (ToT). “The capacities of the 70-year-old organisation would have expanded, if things were done properly,” Chaturvedi said

Displaying the copies of emails, annual reports of Dassault Aviation, Reliance Aerospace Limited and Ministry of corporate affairs, the spokesperson alleged that the NDA government is concealing things from the citizens of India under the garb of clauses of national security and secrecy, which is actually in the public domain through other sources.

“Despite asking them a numbers of times, what the cost of Rafael under the deal signed by this government in 2016 was, both Modi and the defence minister Nirmala Sitaraman kept on saying that the cost could not be made public. Dassault Aviation declared the cost of each jet to be Rs 1,676 crore. UPA had set Rs 526 crore for it,” Chaturvedi claimed.

She also pointed out that the numbers of the jets to be bought had gone down from 126 in UPA time to only 36.