Maran gives clean chit to vodaphone deal

NEW DELHI: Even as the Foreign Investment Promotion Board is slated tomorrow to consider the Vodafone‘s deal to buy controlling stake in Hutch-Essar.

Communication and IT Minister Dayanidhi Maran has said his Ministry is clear there has been no breach in licensing conditions by either of the parties.

Giving a clean chit to the deal in a television interview, the Minister said however that the FIPB was the right authority to go into details of the shareholding pattern.


Both Mr Maran and Commerce Minister Kamal Nath had met Finance Minister P Chidambaram yesterday, reportedly to discuss the deal.

Finance Ministry sources confirmed to that the two minority shareholders of Hutch-Essar -- Hutch-Essar Managing Director Asim Ghosh and Max Group chief Analjit Singh -- besides officials of Hutchison and Vodafone will meet Finance Secretary Ashok Jha today to clarify queries that the Finance Ministry may have.


The FIPB had earlier this week put off to Friday a decision on the deal for the third time in a row, this time because of lack of clarity over the foreign shareholding in the company.

After the meeting, Mr Ajay Dua who is Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion had said the Law Ministry‘s views had been received on April 23 and had been circulated among the members.

Refusing to comment on whether his Department had given its views on the issue of foreign shareholding pattern in Hutch-Essar which is the country‘s fourth largest mobile company, Dua added that there had to be collective decision by all the participants of FIPB.

Earlier, doubts had been raised over the minority stake of 12.6 per cent held jointly by Ghosh and Singh, and the Reserve Bank of India was examining the issue. It is however learnt that the Law Ministry has cleared Hutchison, which has sold a direct 52 per cent stake to UK‘s Vodafone for over 11 billion dollars.


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