India should provide an attractive business environment and not "terrorise us" with its tax and customs rules, the CEO of the French engine manufacturer behind the Rafale fighter jet told Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday while announcing the company's plans to invest nearly USD 150 million in the country.
"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," Olivier Andries said.
"But we need to make sure that the Indian tax and customs system is not terorrising us," he said.
French multinational Safran, the manufacturer of the M88 state of the art engines fitted in the Rafale jets acquired by India, gave a presentation of its facility to the Rajnath Singh who took a tour of the assembly line of the company near the French capital.
The minister responded by assuring him that India was committed to providing the "right climate" for investments under the 'Make in India' initiative.
Singh 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.
The company, which says it already has a USD 15-million investment in the country where it also trains 500 engineers annually is now seeking the government support to set up maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities in India, with training plans for further 500 engineers and skilled technicians.
"We have 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," Andries said.
Meanwhile, Rajnath Singh was taken on a tour of the assembly line, where all the Rafale jet M88 engines fitted for India's 36 aircraft will be assembled.
Visited the Engine Manufacturing Facility of Safran at Villaroche near Paris today.— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) October 9, 2019
Safaran is known for its engine making capabilities. They have also developed the engine for Rafale. pic.twitter.com/pqaZ9NySJR
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. pic.twitter.com/e92vQpcwTd— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) October 9, 2019