The proposed MTN-Bharti deal has thrown up new issues like dual listing of shares — in two countries — which is directly linked to full capital convertibility of the rupee. This in turn involves sweeping policy changes not seen on the horizon, even as the ambitious merger of sorts between the South African and Indian telecom firms hangs fire.
At present the full capital convertibility is not allowed in India. While the finance ministry has swung into action, corporate affairs ministry is keeping a close watch, says Salman Khurshid, corporate affairs minister in an interview.
The issue of dual listing has suddenly come up with the unfolding of the MTN -Bharti deal. What is the role of Corporate Affairs Ministry?
The issue of dual listing primarily should be handled by the Finance Ministry and market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India. My ministry is keeping a close watch on the developments though at this stage we do not have any major role to play.
What would be the role of the corporate affairs ministry?
We will have to make amendments and bring in some legal changes depending on what the MoF and SEBI decide and that can be done easily. We are ready. We would appropriately take actions once the core issue is sorted out by the MoF and Sebi.
So as of now corporate affairs has no major role to play?
It is an interesting model to keep a watch on. The MoF has to take a call as it involves issues like convertibility among others. But we are all keen to see that the deal goes through without any major hurdle.
If Indian companies have to make their presence felt globally, these issues need to be sorted out. Are you doing anything?
The government, like I said, is keen to see that the deal goes through. I agree there are certain issues and we will have to see how these are solved and dealt with.