Government on Monday dismissed Opposition charges of delay in clearing investment by Aircel-Maxis in 2006 by then finance minister P Chidambaram declaring there was "no scope for misunderstanding and misinformation" on the issue.
"There is no scope for any misunderstanding and misinformation. ....in both cases there was no delay in granting the approvals," finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said in a statement in the Lok Sabha seeking to put a lid on the controversy.
Giving dates on which the application for investment was made and the final approval was granted, Mukherjee said it was clear that the proposal was processed in the normal course and approval granted in the normal course without any delay.
His statement came three days after the issue rocked Parliament with the Opposition alleging a big scam and demanding resignation of Chidambaram for his alleged role in the Aircel-Maxis deal.
But the home minister had dismissed the charges saying neither he nor any member of his family was involved. Chidambaram had read out a statement issued by his son Karthi "as part of my statement".
"I categorically state that neither I nor any member of my family have acquired or hold any share in any telecom company. In particular, I categorically state that neither I nor any member of my family have acquired or hold any share in either Aircel or Maxis," the home minister had then said.
BJP leader Yashwant Sinha had then said "prima facie, what has happened is a big scam and government should not hush it up" as the Rs. 4,000 crore deal has raised several serious questions, leading to a major controversy.
The finance minister said financial investment was made by Global Communication Services Holdings Ltd, Mauritius, to acquire 73.99% equity in Aircel Ltd. Subsequently, another application was received for downstream investment by Global Communications.
Mukherjee said while the application was received on September 1, 2006, it was recommended by the FIPB at a meeting on October 3, its minutes drawn up on October 6 which were approved by the finance minister on October 12. A formal letter of approval was issued ten days later.
As soon as Mukherjee finished his clarification, Sinha stood up to demand a special discussion under Rule 193 on the matter and said he would move a notice.