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PMO seeks clarification on Rs 2,058-cr Jet-Etihad deal

New Delhi, June 30, 2013, PTI:
The Prime Minister’s Office has sought clarifications from ministries concerned, including Commerce and Industry, on the proposed Rs 2,058-crore Jet- Etihad deal.

The deal, largest foreign investment proposal in the aviation sector, is facing regulatory hurdles with various ministries raising major concerns over the ultimate control of Jet Airways post transaction.

Government sources said the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has sought clarifications on the Jet Airways selling stake to Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways from ministries and departments concerned including Commerce and Industry, Civil Aviation and Corporate Affairs.

However, nature of the clarifications sought could not be immediately ascertained.
The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), which clears FDI proposals, on June 14 had deferred a decision on the deal citing control and ownership issues.

“It (Jet-Etihad proposal) has been deferred. We need more details on effective control and ownership,” Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram had said.

Under the proposed transaction, Jet would sell its 24 per cent to Etihad Airways.

Concerns have been primarily raised on the proposed ownership and control structure of the domestic airlines. Besides, capital market regulator Sebi, fair trade watchdog CCI and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) also have reservations about the deal.

Post transaction, Jet Airways promoter Naresh Goyal would directly own 51 per cent in the airline. The FDI policy for civil aviation, which was revised in September last year, allows foreign airlines and foreign institutional investors to invest up to 49 per cent in an Indian airline. NRIs are already allowed 100 per cent investment.

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