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FIPB defers recommendation on giving telecom licence to Bycell

Last Updated: Thursday, September 17, 2009 - 20:16

New Delhi: The Foreign Investment Promotion
Board has again deferred its recommendation on the revised
Rs 2,500-crore proposal of Swiss telecom company ByCell to
start telecom services in India.

At its latest meeting on September 11, the board deferred
the proposal as the comments from the Home Ministry did not
come on security aspects, official sources said today.

Earlier also, the proposal was deferred by the FIPB as it
was not supported by the Department of Revenue in the Finance
Ministry because the sources of funds were not clear.

Bycell had approached the FIPB again in June to
reconsider its revised proposal, involving foreign direct
investment of Rs 2,500 crore, on starting telecom services in
India after the Government decided to revoke all foreign
collaboration approvals given to the company on security

Bycell had also moved the Delhi high court against FIPB
and the Department of Telecom over their failure to give
telecom licence to the company.

The FIPB had revoked the approval on the basis of
withdrawal of security clearance by the Home Ministry. The
Ministry had raised objections over concerns regarding the
original sources and channel of fund flows.

In its revised proposal, ByCell had sought permission to
change the shareholding structure.

The company also informed that the records of its
shareholders are handled by the government agencies in Cyprus
and changes in ownership could be accessed by the Indian
government, sources said.

At its meeting in August, the FIPB had noted that
following the Delhi high court`s directions that any
representations made by ByCell is to be considered by the FIPB
in the backdrop of the Home Ministry’s objections to security
credentials of the company.

The FIPB is an apex body approving FDI into the country.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, September 17, 2009 - 20:16
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