The decision came following the meeting between visting French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and his counterpart here Manohar Parrikar.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last month announced India's intention to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from France under a government to government deal during his trip to the country.

As a follow-up on the subject, Drian and Parrikar met here to decide on the way forward. "The two Defence Ministers discussed modalities in order to reach an early conclusion of an Inter-Governmental agreement on the subject. The two sides decided to set up teams to work out the details in a time bound manner," a short statement by the Defence Ministry said.

French defence major Dassault Aviation, manufacturer of Rafale, is likely to enter into a joint venture with state-run HAL or any private player to set up a base here for augmenting its existing production line in Merignac in France, defence sources had said.

The deal is estimated to be over USD 6 billion and will have about 30-50 per cent offset.

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