Jagdeo dispels opposition contention of corruption in Indian aircraft purchase

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has set the record straight on the two Indian-made aircraft recently procured for the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).

He was at the time addressing the contentions made by Opposition Members of Parliament Coretta McDonald and James Patterson, which implied that the Government of India exploited Guyana through this transaction.

“She was implying that the Indian government was gouging us…that they bought some equipment for $5 million and are selling it to us for $28 million,” Dr Jagdeo explained.

Dr Jagdeo rubbished these claims on Thursday during his weekly press conference, which was held at Freedom House, Georgetown.

He made it clear that the aircraft were procured through a Line of Credit (LOC) with the Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank), and purchased directly from the manufacturer, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL).

“The interest rate on that line of credit is now one-fifth of what we can get elsewhere if you go commercially. It is a low-interest rate,” the GS added.

This LOC agreement between the two countries was signed on March 15, 2024.

Dr Jagdeo also provided a detailed breakdown of the arrangement.

The two aircraft were purchased at US$8 million each.

The government then purchased spare equipment totalling US$6.23 million, which included reserve engines and propellers.

“About another US$1 million in training for 19 persons, including the pilots, engineers, technicians, flying the aircraft to Guyana, and also deploying engineers here from India for six months to work with us,” the GS said.

This brings the total amount to US$23.37 million.

“For the two aircraft alone, it was US$16 million. These are new aircraft that we bought.” he clarified.

The aeroplanes have a seating capacity of 19 and an average cargo capacity of 3000 lbs, offering greater reliability and efficiency for the GDF.

They will also enhance geographic reach in remote areas and can be used for a wide range of functions including medical evacuation and disaster response.