Hollande, Modi to discuss Rafale jet deal; intergovernmental agreement to be signed

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French President Francois Hollande and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will discuss the multi-crore Rafale jet deal and are likely to sign an intergovernmental agreement on Monday.

Hollande, who is on a three-day visit to India, is scheduled to meet business leaders to talk about bilateral trade.

During the meet on Sunday, Hollande, however, indicated that the deal may not be clinched soon. “The Rafale is a major project for India and France. It will pave the way for an unprecedented industrial and technological cooperation, including ‘Make in India’, for the next 40 years. Agreeing on the technicalities of this arrangement obviously takes time, but we are on the right track”, Hollande said.

India and France are in negotiations for 36 Rafale fighter jets in fly away conditions since the announcement for the deal was made by Modi in April 2015 during his visit to France.

However, the deal is yet to be sealed as both sides are still negotiating the price which is estimated to be about Rs 60,000 crore.

On Sunday, India and France signed 16 Memoranda of Understanding and an agreement between Airbus Group and Mahindra for manufacture of helicopters, three MoUs under the ‘Smart City’ theme were among the pacts signed.

The MoUs, which cover a wide range of sectors like urban development, urban transport, water and waste treatment and solar energy, were signed in the presence of Modi and Hollande.

 

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