“Defence Minister has refused to disclose the details. The deal has left more questions than answers. It is time for prime minister to answer these questions and the government should bring a white paper on the deal,” he added.
In a statement, the defence ministry said the earlier UPA government had also expressed its inability to disclose the price of various defence procurements, including in its responses to Parliament questions, in keeping with confidentiality requirements.
Giving an item-wise cost and other information would reveal details about weapons systems and customisation of the jet, it said, adding that the government was bound by the confidentiality provisions of a 2008 Indo-France pact in not sharing details of the deal.
The government said “doubts” were sought to be created about the contract and insisted that the deal secured by the government was better in terms of capability, price, equipment and delivery than the one “notionally” negotiated by the UPA regime in a process which it could not conclude even in 10 years.
“Unfounded allegations are being made regarding the 2016 Inter-Governmental Agreement to procure 36 Rafale aircraft in fly-away condition from France. This would normally not have merited a response but for the serious damage being caused by the misleading statements, sought to be repeatedly perpetrated on a serious matter of national security,” the ministry reportedly said.