Jet-Etihad deal under CBI scanner
Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation has been asked by the Central Vigilance Commission to look into the allegations made the BJP MP Nishikant Dubey into Jet-Etihad deal.
In a letter dated 6 July, to the Central Vigilance Commission, Lok Sabha MP from Jharkhand has claimed that `four cabinet ministers had cleared bilateral deal between Indian and UAE in haste.'
Dubey's complaint to CVC, the copy of which is in DNA possession, has mentioned about efforts made by the UPA government to benefit Jet airways. He claimed that the timing of the two deals leaves nothing to interpretation.
In April, Jet Airways had announced of selling 24 percent of its equity to Abu Dhabi based Etihad. And simultaneously,the civil aviation ministry signed a bilateral agreement to increase flights to and from Abu Dhabi.
According to the letter,on March 1, 2013, Director General of Civil Aviation has made some key amendments of its guidelines issued in 2008, aimed to facilitate the the deal between Jet and Etihad.
“Clause 1.7 prevented passing on of effective control of management of a domestic airline to a foreign airline. This was deleted. Secondly, clause 1.8 was modified(amended) so that a scheduled passenger airline having FDI from foreign airline could now pass on the right to interfere in the management of the domestic airline.”Dubey said in his complaint.
“And third, clause 1.9 prevented a domestic airline to enter into financial arrangement like lease-finance, hire-purchase with a foreign airline. This could have prevented Jet Airways to receive soft loan of USD 300 million at a 3 percent interest rate. This clause was modified as to permit domestic airlines to receive such facilities from a foreign airline as well,” Lok Sabha MP wrote.
When contacted by DNA, Dubey said,`The way, rules have been amended , it clearly showed government's intention to go overboard for clearing this deal. And only a CBI probe can unravel the truth behind it.”
Meanwhile , the CBI has confirmed of receiving a complaint in this regard.``At present, we are scruitising the complaint.”
DNA/Pradip R Sagar