New Delhi: India on Friday virtually ruled out a rethink on its decision in the multi-billion dollar combat aircraft deal saying it has already started negotiating the contract with French firm Dassault Aviation in this regard.

On January 31, India had announced that the French Rafale fighter jet has emerged as the lowest bidder in the deal for procuring 126 combat aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) edging out its European rival EADS consortium's Eurofighter Typhoon.

"Already the Contract Negotiations Committee (CNC) has started for the procurement of Rafale," Defence Minister A K Antony said here.

The Minister was asked to comment on British Prime Minister David Cameron's statement that he would ask India to rethink its decision on the deal and buy the Eurofighter Typhoon.

The CNC is formed by the Ministry to negotiate the final price of the equipment offered by the vendors.

Antony warned the officials and vendors involved in the process against indulging in any wrongdoing saying "everybody should be careful. Nobody can corrupt India system. We will not tolerate this."

He said the contract negotiations take place for over six months and after that the deal will have to pass through eight stages.

"It will have to pass through scrutiny in eight stages. After CNC, it will come to Defence Ministry. In Ministry also, there will be minimum four stages of scrutiny by Defence Finance. Then it will go to independent monitors appointed by the CVC and then go to the National Security Council Secretariat and Finance Ministry," Antony said.

The Defence Minister made it clear that Indian foreign policy and relations with any country have no connection with procurement of weapon systems.

"Our foreign policy and relations are one thing but our procurements are not based on political considerations. Procurement is based on trials by services and lowest price. There will be no other consideration," Antony said.

At every stage before reaching the Cabinet Committee on Security, the Minister said there will be "scrupulous scrutiny" and "total transparency" would be maintained.

Asked about reasons for deferring the proposal to clear the Pilatus trainer aircraft deal of the IAF, the Defence Minister said, "At every stage, we want to be absolutely clear that everything has gone as per the Defence Procurement Procedure and is transparent."

"Some more discussions are going on in the Finance Ministry and there is no problem in it but this is part of the process by which we want to ensure that everything is clinched in a transparent process," he said.

The IAF is planning to buy 75 Pilatus basic trainer aircraft from Switzerland and the proposal in this regard is yet to be cleared by the CCS.

On modernisation plans of the HAL, the Minister said the Government has set up a Committee under former Cabinet Secretary B K Chaturvedi for restructuring the aerospace company and the report is expected to be submitted by the end of March.

He expressed hope that after the restructuring, HAL would be able to take up complex projects such as the development of a medium-lift helicopter like the Mi-17 V5 inducted in the IAF on Friday.