Home MinisterP Chidambaram has refuted former telecom minister A Raja’s charge that he had been kept in the loop on the developments in the Telecom Ministry when he was finance minister.
Chidambaram said the only issue that he and Prime MinisterManmohan Singh examined was if new telecom licencees, Swan andUnitech, were selling stake in their respective firms, or diluting shares through issue of fresh equity. He said the Telecom Ministry consistently wanted the entry fee to remain at 2001 levels, but the Finance Ministry always favoured the auction route.
Raja had on Monday told aCBI court that Chidambaram, in his capacity as finance minister in UPA-I, had told the prime minister that dilution of shares by 2G licencees to attract FDI did not amount to their sale.
“They (Swan Telecom and Unitech) were inducting foreign partners or new partners. They had got spectrum and they had (telecom) licences. They were now inducting new partners,” Chidambaram said. Economic Times