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India says it is negotiating contract with Dassault

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French Air Force Rafale. Photo: Dassault Aviation.

NEW DELHI (PTI): India has virtually ruled out a rethink on its decision in the multi-billion dollar combat aircraft deal saying it has already started negotiating the contract with French firm Dassault Aviation in this regard.

On January 31, India had announced that the French Rafale fighter jet has emerged as the lowest bidder in the deal for procuring 126 combat aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) edging out its European rival EADS consortium's Eurofighter Typhoon.

"Already the Contract Negotiations Committee (CNC) has started for the procurement of Rafale," Defence Minister A K Antony said on Friday.

The Minister was asked to comment on British Prime Minister David Cameron's statement that he would ask India to rethink its decision on the deal and buy the Eurofighter Typhoon.

The CNC is formed by the Ministry to negotiate the final price of the equipment offered by the vendors.

Antony warned the officials and vendors involved in the process against indulging in any wrongdoing saying "everybody should be careful.... Nobody can corrupt India system. We will not tolerate this."

He said the contract negotiations take place for over six months and after that the deal will have to pass through eight stages.

"It will have to pass through scrutiny in eight stages. After CNC, it will come to Defence Ministry. In Ministry also, there will be minimum four stages of scrutiny by Defence Finance. Then it will go to independent monitors appointed by the CVC and then go to the National Security Council Secretariat and Finance Ministry," Antony said.

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India  MMRCA  Dassault  
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