Stake sale by Swan Telecom, Unitech within law: Raja

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New Delhi, Nov 7 (UNI) Communications and IT Minister A Raja today said the stake sales by Swan Telecom and Unitech to foreign firms were under the purview of the India's Corporate law and will bring foreign investment to the country.

''There was no outright sale... it was dilution of the equity which will bring Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country,'' Mr Raja said at a conference here.

He said no share of the founding promoters of the companies have been sold and ''hence, the question of windfall gain or for that matter any gain for the promoters does not arise.'' The spectrum allocation to the new operators were within the existing 2G policy, he said, adding that ''I would resign in case the Ministry had violated the law in spectrum allocation.'' Yesterday, CPI(M) had claimed that national exchequer had lost more than Rs 60,000 crore on account of allocation of 2G spectrum at ''a throwaway price'' to new telecom players and demanded enquiry to find out how ''a scam of this magnitude'' could be carried out.

It said sale of shares by Swan Telecom and realtor Unitech, which were among those allocated 2G spectrum as fourth licencees, has clearly revealed that more than Rs. 60,000 crore has been lost to the national exchequer by giving away scarce spectrum at a fraction of the market price.

Swan Telecom, which bought licence for 13 telecom circle for Rs 1,537 crore, subsequently sold 45 per cent stake to the UAE's telecom operator Etisalat for 900 million dollars, revealing a book value of the spectrum at two billion dollars, the CPI(M) said.

Similarly, Unitech has now sold 60 per cent of its stake to Talenor of Norway for Rs 6,120 crore, while having paid only Rs 1,651 crore as licence fee for the spectrum allocated to it, the statement said, adding that these two transactions alone have revealed a loss of Rs 10,000 crore to the exchequer.

''The government has actually got only one-sixth of what it would have got, had it gone through a fresh auction route instead of allocating spectrum at a price discovered in 2001,'' CPI(M) said.

UNI MP SBA PM1622

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