Amid new revelations that anti-corruption clauses in the Rafale deal with France were waived by the government, official sources have said the audit report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) is likely to be tabled in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
Tuesday will be the penultimate day of the current Budget session, which is the last before the Lok Sabha election due in April.
However, officials said the CAG which went into the €7.87-billion inter-governmental agreement (IGA) with France will not get into the pricing details, which have been withheld by the government citing an information security agreement between the two countries.
Opposition parties have also questioned the impartiality of the current CAG, Rajiv Mehrshi, in the audit, as he was an official in the Finance Ministry during the Rafale negotiations. The Finance Ministry on Monday issued a statement that such an accusation was “totally a figment of imagination and stretch of facts”.
“It is pertinent to point out here that it is the Department of Expenditure of the Finance Ministry which deals with financial sanctions relating to all the Ministries of the Government of India and, in that capacity, any files relating to defence procurement would be dealt with by the Secretary, Department of Expenditure, and not by Shri Rajiv Mehrishi as Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs,” the Finance Ministry statement said.
“To claim that Secretary (Economic Affairs)… would have dealt with the expenditure proposals from the Ministry of Defence is totally a figment of imagination and stretch of facts,” the statement added.