Jet-Etihad stake sale still under scrutiny: Govt

New Delhi: Amid a raging controversy over the Rs 2,058 crore deal between Jet Airways and Etihad, Government on Tuesday said the equity stake sale matter is still under examination and asserted that there were no differences between Ministries over the air services agreement between India and Abu Dhabi.
 
The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) came out with a statement rebutting reports about objections to the deal raised by senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh, CPI's Gurudas Dasgupta, Dinesh Trivedi (Trinamool Congress) and Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy, each of whom had shot off separate letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
 
Reports of rift within the Government on the India-UAE (Abu Dhabi) Bilateral Air Services Agreement and the Jet-Etihad equity proposal are "factually incorrect and baseless", the PMO said.
 
"There is absolutely no disagreement within the government or between the Ministers and the Prime Minister on the matter," it said.
 
"The Prime Minister is neither washing his hands off the Bilateral Air Services Agreement nor is the PMO trying to do a U-turn on the issue now."
 
On the stake sale issue, the PMO said this was a "distinctly different" matter as it was an agreement between two private parties.
 
"This is a matter between private parties which needs to be approved by the concerned agencies as per the policies and laws in place. This is not an agreement between governments and there is no question either backtracking from or disowning this proposal as this is not an agreement with the government."
 
"As for the equity stake matter, that is a matter still under examination," it said, adding that the issues raised have been referred to the Civil Aviation Ministry, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Department of Economic Affairs and the Corporate Affairs Ministry "for examination and appropriate action as they were concerned with various aspects of the complaints."
 
The issues relating to security concerns were also referred to the Cabinet Secretary for examination to suggest whether there was a need to look into any issues afresh.
 
The statement came on a day when Cabinet Secretary A K Seth held a meeting with the Secretaries of the concerned Ministries and Departments to discuss the issue.