Govt denies Swamy's allegations against Chidambaram
New Delhi: Government on Saturday rejected Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy's allegations against Home Minister P Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis equity issue saying they were "totally baseless".
After perusing records of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in the issue, a government release said "it will be abundantly clear that there was no delay whatsoever. It is unfortunate that baseless allegations should be made without verifying the facts."
The government statement comes two days after Swamy accused Chidambaram, the then Finance Minister, of delaying permission for the sale of Aircel to Malaysia-based Maxis in 2006 so that his son Karti was financially benefited.
The statement said the records reveal that on January 1, 2006 M/s Global Communication Services Holdings (GCSH) Ltd acquired 26 per cent equity in M/s Aircel Ltd through the automatic route.
On January 30, 2006, GCSH applied for enhancing its equity in M/s Aircel Ltd from 26 per cent to 73.99 per cent.
The statement said the application was processed in the normal course and the Ministries and Departments concerned took the normal time of four to six weeks to offer their comments. The proposal was included in the agenda notes circulated on February 17, 2006.
On March 7, the the matter was placed before the meeting of the FIPB. DoT conveyed its support to the proposal at the meeting. FIPB recommended the proposal for approval on the same day and the file was moved by Deputy Secretary on March 10, the statement said.
The statement said the minutes of the FIPB meeting were placed before the then Finance Minister on March 13 and he approved the same.
The formal letter of approval was issued by the Ministry of Finance on March 20, it said.
"From the facts stated above, it will be abundantly clear that there was no delay whatsoever. It is unfortunate that baseless allegations should be made without verifying the facts," the statement said.
Swamy, on Thursday, said he had shot off a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking Chidambaram's resignation and directing CBI to include the names of the Minister and his son in the FIR on Aircel-Maxis deal along with former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran.
Swamy had alleged that there was a "dubious transaction" between a firm "controlled" by Karti and Aircel in March 2006, just before Maxis' investment of Rs 4,000 crore.
Karti had denied the allegations and the company M/s Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd had threatened to take legal action against Swamy.