Following security concerns raised by the ministry of home affairs (MHA), the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has for a second time, deferred a decision on the Rs 6,070-crore proposal to allow Norway's Telenor to hike its stake in its telecom joint venture, Unitech Wireless, to upto 74 per cent.
The proposal got the consent of the Department of Telecommunications, but “MHA has sought some more time as they need to examine the proposal and verify the credentials of the investors, including concern from their operations in Pakistan and Bangladesh,” a senior government official told Hindustan Times.
Unitech Wireless had sought FIPB clearance to enhance the foreign shareholding by Telenor Asia such that it may have direct and indirect foreign shareholding of up to 74 per cent. The FIPB had met on June 19. It had previously put off a decision on the proposal on May 22.
The Department of Revenue, which had earlier sought time to verify the sources of funds to be brought in by Telenor, has now given its go-ahead to the proposal.
Telenor has completed the acquisition of a 49 per cent stake in Unitech. To complete its deal for 67.25 per cent at an investment of Rs 6,070 crore, FIPB clearance is mandatory.