New Delhi: Indian Air Force (IAF) has incurred an expenditure of Rs 28.83 crore since 2009-12 in the form of air-travel of various dignitaries and an amount of Rs 11.80 crore remain outstanding, government told the Lok Sabha on Monday.

In written reply to the House, Defence Minister A K Antony said that "during the last three years--from April 2009 to April 2012--dignitaries have travelled on 1888 occasions by IAF aircraft/helicopters. The value of the bill raised by IAF against such airlift amounts to Rs 28.83 crore."

In 2009-10, IAF incurred an expenditure of Rs 4.32 crore followed by Rs 11.89 crore in 2010-11. In 2011-12, the expenditure was Rs 12.62 crore.

He told the Lok Sabha that "as per existing instructions, the Prime Minister is entitled to use the IAF aircraft for non-official purposes."

Giving details of such uses by the Prime Minister, Antony said that "during the last three years, bills amounting to Rs 14.17 lakh were raised for non-official use of IAF aircraft by the Prime Minister."

On outstanding payments in case of aircraft being used by the PM, he said "all bills raised up to March, 2012, have been paid, except for one bill amounting to Rs 23,200."

In reply to a question on joint-development of the fifth generation fighter aircraft, he said "preliminary design contract for the joint Indo-Russian fifth generation fighter aircraft project was signed in December 2010. R&D phase of the programme is planned to be signed during the current year."

The fifth generation aircraft is scheduled to be certified by 2019 following which the series production will start.


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