21 June, 2021


Business in bitesizes

French kisses and golden parachutes

Despite numerous state visits and pronouncements of Indo-French love, the mega Rafale deal is just not taking off. Last year Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India would buy 36 fighter aircraft. But negotiations are stuck—Indian bureaucrats have refused to sign, citing financial and liability issues. The French on the other hand are blaming the Indian negotiators for playing hard to get. According to a top Indian source, the Modi government is clear that Indian needs the Rafale—and quickly. The sale of American F-16 jets to Pakistan has tilted the balance, as the Indian Air Force needs to quickly make amends. But despite this clear political signal, the negotiators don’t want to face persecution by future governments. Is an executive fiat around the...

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