Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday levelled fresh allegations against Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal, accusing the Centre of weakening Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and destroying India's strategic capability to benefit businessman Anil Ambani.
Rahul Gandhi alleged that the best engineers and scientists from state-run aerospace major HAL will be forced to move to the Anil Ambani's company that has the Rafale fighter jet contract.
This will happen as HAL does not have enough cash to pay salaries to its employees and Ambani needs its talent pool to deliver on his contract, Gandhi wrote on Twitter.
That HAL doesn't have enough cash to pay salaries, isn't surprising.
Anil Ambani has Rafale. He now needs HAL's brilliant talent pool to deliver on his contracts.
Gandhi's comment came after it was reported that HAL had taken loans to pay salaries to its employees. HAL has for the first time borrowed funds to pay salaries to its employees. The state-owned defence PSU has been facing dwindling finances which might lead to its operations coming to a complete standstill later this year due to lack of funds to make fresh purchases or pay its vendors.
"Our cash in hand is in the negative, we have had to borrow close to Rs 1,000 crore as an overdraft (OD). By March 31 we'll have minus of Rs 6,000 crore, which becomes unsustainable. We can borrow for day-to-day work but not for project purchases," HAL CMD R Madhavan told The Times of India.
The debacle at HAL has come to light close on the heels of statement by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament where she said that efforts are being made to scale up the capacities of the state-owned firm.