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'Wider Consultation Needed on Jet-Etihad Deal'

Raising concerns over the Rs 2,058 crore Jet-Etihad deal, a BJP MP has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for "wider inter-agency consultations" on the serious technical issue of 'control' in the proposed FDI deal.

Nishikant Dubey, the MP from Jharkhand, has alleged that the proposed agreement between Naresh Goyal-led Jet Airways and Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways is in violation of FDI norms.

"I am concerned of the brazen manner of decision taking (place) under your government," Dubey said in his second letter to the Prime Minister, which has been sent to Finance Minister P Chidambaram, in which he has suggested wider consultation on the proposed deal.

Dubey had earlier this month had also written to the Prime Minister, with copies to CBI, CVC and Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth, alleging "strategic conspiracy" by some elements to get the deal approved.

Etihad had on April 24 announced its decision to purchase 24 per cent stake in Jet for Rs 2,058 crore.

On June 13, the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) deferred a decision on the deal, saying it required more clarity on control and ownership structure of Jet Airways.

The FIPB will take up the matter again on July 29.

Meanwhile, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has sought a "factual report" from Ministry of Civil Aviation on the matter.

The move followed after Dubey wrote to the CVC last month alleging serious fraud to cheat the Union government and cause a huge revenue loss of Rs 500 crore to the national exchequer by Jet Airways in collusion with senior Civil Aviation Ministry officials.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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