Govt denies charges against Chidambaram

New Delhi: Government today dismissed as "factually incorrect and totally baseless" news reports the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram had delayed clearance by Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006. In a statement, the government said it had earlier issued a press release on April 28 regarding the foreign investment made by M/s. Global Communication Services Holdings Ltd., Mauritius, to acquire 73.99 per cent equity in M/s. Aircel Ltd.

Referring to the earlier statement in which the charge of any delay was denied, the government today said the contents of that statement "are correct and and reiterated". Reacting to a news report today which claimed that the Apr 28 statement was far from truth, the government statement said subsequently another application was received for downstream investment by M/s. Global Communications Services Holdings Ltd.

It gave the relevant dates September 1, 2006 as application for investment, Oct 3 for meeting of FIPB when it recommended the proposal, Oct 6 when the Minutes of FIPB were drawn up and moved by Deputy Secretary, Oct 12 when the Finance Minister approved the minutes and Oct 20 when the formal letter of approval was issued. "It will be clear from the above that the proposal was processed in the normal course and approval was granted in the normal course without any delay.

"It is unfortunate that baseless allegations should continue to be made without verifying the facts," the government statement said. The government had on Apr 28 denied Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy`s allegation that Chidambaram had delayed FIPB clearance to Aircel-Maxis deal to benefit his son Karti Chidambaram.