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VIPs get new jets for Rs 750 cr

Monica Gupta & Sidhartha  |  New Delhi 

Cabinet clears purchase of six and aircraft.
In what could be India's answer to Air Force One, the government is set to acquire a fleet of six comprising three and an equal number of The government is expected to shell out around Rs 150 crore on the acquisition of each and around Rs 100 crore on each
The acquisition was cleared by the recently.
While the aircraft would be used for domestic flights, the would be meant for international trips undertaken by the president, the vice-president and the prime minister, senior government officials said.
A set of two aircraft (one and one Boeing) will be set aside for use by the prime minister and another set for the president and vice-president, with the third set kept in reserve.
The officials said the proposal was pending with the finance ministry, which had to release funds for the aircraft acquisition and was processing the proposal. Negotiations on pricing would commence shortly, they added.
The proposal was originally mooted during the National Democratic Alliance regime when the government had proposed to keep one aircraft for the use of the prime minister and another for the home minister, who was also the deputy prime minister in the
In 2003, the government had signed an agreement with for five aircraft to replace the Avro planes operated by the Indian Air Force. Each of 14-seater jets was to be customised with two cabins each. The acquisition was estimated to cost the Centre around Rs 750 crore.