The government today said it has a positive approach towards the proposed $23-billion deal between Bharti and South African MTN, even as the time for exclusive talks between the two companies ends on Thursday.
"Both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and myself have said that we are taking a positive approach and outlook towards it," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters on sidelines of a book release function here.
Asked whether the South Africa government officials, who were here last week, got back to Indian authorities, he said, "You know we are working on it"
Meanwhile, there are indications that both the companies are likely to extend the exclusive talks period beyond September 30 in the absence of clarity on the deal. This, however, could not be confirmed.
The government also said it has not received any proposal from either Bharti or MTN.
"Our officials had some discussions with the South African authorities. They have explained our legal position (on dual listing) and asked them what is that they need," Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla said earlier in the day.
Asked about if there is any proposal on dual listing, Chawla said, "There is no formal proposal before any public authority in India as of today."