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India, France ink pact to broad-base protection of classified info

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

and today inked a key agreement on protection of classified information, widening the scope of of high-technology exchanges, including in defence

The pact, which subsumes a 2008 agreement on security of confidential information, comes weeks after the government refused to share cost details in 58,000 crore deal to procure 36 jets from that country.

The agreement was exchanged between Ajit Doval, and Philippe Etienne, to the French President, in the presence of and French

According to a senior government official, the pact "subsumed the 2008 agreement and vastly enhances the scope of the protection of which is critical to build an ecosystem to get major partners in high-technology area."

"It is important to give confidence to your defence partners that a is followed and their sensitive information is safe and protected," the said.

The reciprocal protection of classified or protected information pact defines the common security regulations applicable to any of classified and protected information, officials said.

Last month, the government had refused to give an item-wise cost and other details about the deal in Parliament citing provisions of a 2008 Indo-pact.

A joint statement, issued after Modi-Macron talks, said the two leaders welcomed the signing of the pact on 'and Reciprocal Protection of Classified or Protected Information'.

It said the agreement reflected the high-level of strategic trust between the two countries.

had signed a government-to-government deal with in 2016 to buy 36 fighter jets at a cost of about the Rs 58,000-crore. The has been demanding details of the deal, alleging that the deal negotiated under its rule was much cheaper then the contract signed by the Modi government.

Yesterday, the accused the of "compromising" on national security and causing a loss of Rs 12,632 crore to the state exchequer while sealing the deal to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets.

Quoting from the annual report of Dassault Aviation, makers of the fighter aircraft, the party alleged that the company sold each jet to at a cost that was Rs 351 crore higher than the price on which it sold the jets to and 11 months ago.

leaders and said while 36 Rafale jets were sold to India at 7.5 billion Euros in 2016, 48 jets were sold to and at 7.9 billion Euros in 2015.

This amounted to Rs 1,670.70 crore per aircraft for India and Rs 1,319.80 crore to and There was a difference of Rs 351 crore for each aircraft, the party claimed.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, March 10 2018. 21:00 IST