Follow Us:

Jet-Etihad deal: CVC seeks report from aviation ministry

Statesman News Service |

Press Trust of India
NEW DELHI, 18 JULY: The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has sought a “factual report” from Ministry of Civil Aviation on a complaint of alleged corruption in the Rs 2,058 crore deal between Jet Airways and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways.
The move came after BJP MP Nishikant 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.
The letter (of Dubey’s complaint) has been sent to Chief Vigilance Officer of Ministry of Civil Aviation to furnish factual report to the Commission, official sources said.
The multi-crore agreement between the two aviation industry majors has been in controversy ever since it became public, with Opposition BJP claiming “something fishy in the deal”.
Etihad had on 24 April announced its decision to purchase 24 per cent stake in Jet for Rs 2,058 crore. On 13 June, 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. Jet chairman Naresh Goyal owns a 51 per cent stake in the airline.
Besides FIPB, capital market regulator Sebi, fair trade watchdog Competition Commission of India and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion have also raised certain queries.
The deal is the largest foreign investment proposal in the aviation sector.
Mr Dubey, who is a Lok Sabha member from Jharkhand, had early this month also written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, with copies to the CBI, the CVC and Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth, alleging “strategic conspiracy” by some elements to get the deal approved.
The revenue department is also looking into the proposed deal to identify the beneficial owners and check whether or not it is structured in a way to evade taxes, sources added.