Rafale talks had been on when Reliance Leisure helped produce movie for Francois Hollande’s companion

Two days earlier than then French President Francois Hollande got here to New Delhi because the Republic Day chief visitor and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for delivering 36 Rafale plane, Anil Ambani’s Reliance Leisure entered right into a deal to provide a movie with Hollande’s companion and actor Julie Gayet.

Later that yr, Ambani’s Reliance Defence turned a part of the offset programme of the Rs 59,000-crore Rafale deal by way of Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd (DRAL), wherein it holds a 51% stake. Dassault Aviation, the French producer of Rafale, holds 49% stake in DRAL.

On January 24, 2016, Reliance Leisure introduced that it had entered into an settlement with Gayet’s agency, Rouge Worldwide, to collectively produce a French movie.

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On January 26, 2016, each nations signed the MoU for the acquisition of 36 jets in flyaway situation. The deal, referred to as the Inter- Authorities Settlement, was anticipated to be signed throughout Hollande’s go to however was delayed attributable to “some monetary points”.

As for the movie Reliance helped produce, it was directed by French actor and film-maker Serge Hazanavicius and was launched in France on December 20, 2017 beneath the title, Tout La-Haut.

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This was eight weeks after Dassault Aviation chairman Eric Trappier and Ambani laid the inspiration stone for DRAL manufacturing facility in Nagpur within the presence of then French Defence Minister Florence Parly; Roads and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari; Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Ambassador of France to India Alexandre Ziegler.

The 98-minute French movie, first screened on the San Sebastian Worldwide Movie Competition in Spain in 2017, was distributed in eight different nations together with UAE, Taiwan, Lebanon, Belgium, Estonia and Latvia. Tout La-Haut has not been launched in India.

What is the Rafale jets controversy in Parliament Former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian alternate paperwork of memorandum of understanding on the acquisition of Rafale fight jets, at Hyderabad Home in New Delhi on September 23, 2016 (Categorical Picture/Renuka Puri)

The deal for 36 Rafale jets was introduced, negotiated between the 2 governments and signed through the presidency of Hollande, when Gayet was staying with him in Elysee palace in Paris. Hollande was President of France from Could 2012 to Could 2017 and his relationship with Gayet turned public in January 2014.

The primary announcement of Dassault and Reliance making a JV in India as a “key participant” for execution of offset obligations was made in October 2016, once more throughout Hollande’s Presidency.

EXPLAINED | The combat over IAF’s fighters

This was 10 days after the deal value Rs 59,000 crore was signed between Indian and French Defence ministers in New Delhi on September 23, 2016, with a clause for 50% offset obligations.

The Indian Categorical contacted Rouge Worldwide over phone and was requested to ship questions over electronic mail. The emails remained unanswered. On additional enquiry, it was advised that a solution to the questions shouldn’t be anticipated.

Reliance Leisure was contacted over SMS, telephone and electronic mail. Nevertheless, questions from The Indian Categorical pertaining to Tout La-Haut and the corporate’s investments in European movies stay unanswered.

Underneath the offsets clause, France is to speculate 50 per cent of the overall order price in native contracts in India, value Rs 30,000 crore. The offset obligations of the deal are to be discharged from September 2019 to September 2023, as per the contract.

Rafale jets controversy Reliance Defence dismissed the declare that Dassault had given Rs 30,000-crore value of offset contract to Reliance as “completely unfounded”. (Ok Tokunaga/Dassault Aviation)

Rafale offset was the primary mission of this magnitude gained by Reliance Defence, which positioned it on the centre of a serious political controversy. Opposition events, together with the Congress, have alleged that undue favours had been granted to Ambani’s agency on this deal, an organization with none defence manufacturing expertise.

This was achieved, they alleged, at the price of public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Restricted (HAL), Bangalore which was to make the plane in India within the earlier 126 plane deal scrapped by the BJP authorities.

READ | Defence Ministry: ‘Rafale deal matter of nationwide safety, can’t disclose particulars’

The Defence Ministry clarified in an announcement that “no Indian Offset Associate for the 2016 deal for 36 Rafale Plane has been up to now chosen by the seller (Dassault Aviation or DA) as a result of as per the relevant tips, DA is free to pick out the Indian Offset Companions and supply their particulars on the time of looking for offset credit, or one yr previous to discharge of offset obligation”.

Reliance Defence dismissed the declare that Dassault had given Rs 30,000-crore value of offset contract to Reliance as “completely unfounded”. Dassault and its most important suppliers have already indicated that greater than 100 Indian firms would take part within the offset contracts together with joint ventures with public sector companies reminiscent of HAL and Bharat Electricals Ltd, the corporate stated in an announcement this month.

Earlier this month, Ambani had written a letter to Congress occasion President Rahul Gandhi that not a single part value a single rupee is to be manufactured by Reliance for these 36 jets. The allegations regarding “lack of expertise” are, thus, irrelevant, Ambani had stated.

Ambani was current in Paris on April 10, 2015 when Modi first introduced, alongside Hollande, that India would procure 36 Rafale jets beneath a government-to-government deal in Paris throughout his go to to France in April 2015.

In response to RoC submitting made by Reliance Leisure, the corporate had reported losses in every of the final 4 years — a lack of Rs 1,75,501 in FY’14, a lack of Rs 22,694 within the subsequent yr, which then surged to a lack of Rs 5,75,439 in FY’16. For FY’17, the corporate reported a lack of Rs 24,795.

“As doubts are sought to be created in regards to the 2016 contract for 36 plane, it’s as soon as once more strongly reiterated that the deal secured by the Authorities is best by way of functionality, value, gear, supply, upkeep, coaching, and so forth., than that notionally negotiated by the then Authorities in a course of it couldn’t conclude in ten years. Furthermore, the current Authorities accomplished these negotiations in nearly one yr,” stated the Ministry of Defence in an announcement in February this yr.

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