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Rafale engine manufacturer tells Rajnath: Don’t terrorise us on tax

Indian Express 2019-10-09 18:42:59
CEO of the Safran Aircraft Engines Olivier Andries with defence Minister Rajnath Singh. (Source: Twitter)

The CEO of the French engine manufacturer behind the Rafale fighter jet told Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday that India should provide an attractive business environment and not “terrorise us” with its tax and customs rules. He made the remarks while announcing that the company plans to invest nearly USD 150 million in the country.

French multinational Safran, the manufacturer of the M88 engines fitted in the Rafale jets acquired by India, gave a presentation of its facility to the defence minister who took a tour of the assembly line of the company, PTI reported.

Watch: Rajnath Singh takes off in Rafale, his second fighter jet sortie in a month

Singh responded by assuring him that India was committed to providing the “right climate” for investments under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

He also invited Safran to participate in the DefExpo in Lucknow in February next year, an invitation that was accepted by the company which designs and develops engines for civil and military aircraft at its assembly line at Villaroche in Reau, near Paris.

During the presentation today, CEO of the Safran Aircraft Engines Olivier Andries revealed plans for nearly USD 150 million investment in the country towards training and maintenance.

“India is set to become the third largest commercial market for aviation and we are keen to create a strong maintenance and repair base in India to serve customers,” Andries said.

“But we need to make sure that the Indian tax and customs system is not terrorising us,” he said.

Andries further said that the manufacturer has a long association with India and “all Indian airlines are our customers”. “We are hopeful and optimistic that we will have a positive reception to our expansion plans. We are keen to share the know how and create an engine ecosystem in India,” he said.

Also accompanying Rajnath, Defence secretary Ajay Kumar, assured the company of support and asked them to prepare a document highlighting any “pain points” they foresee in their expansion agenda, which will be taken into consideration.

“Visited the Engine Manufacturing Facility of Safran at Villaroche near Paris today. Safran is known for its engine making capabilities. They have also developed the engine for Rafale,” Rajnath Singh said in a tweet.

“Happy to meet some of the young and bright engineers of Indian origin working at the Safran manufacturing facility. Their technical knowledge and hard work is impressive and inspiring,” he said.

-With inputs from PTI

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