FIPB still to take up Vodafone proposal to acquire India unit

 PTI   New Delhi     Last Updated: November 13, 2013  | 00:00 IST
FIPB still to take up Vodafone FDI proposal
PHOTO: Reuters

The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) did not take up British telecom major Vodafone's Rs 10,141 crore proposal to buy out minority shareholders in its Indian arm.

The plan will be considered at the next FIPB meeting, for which the date has yet to be finalised, an official said.

"All ministries and departments concerned did not give their comments, so it (Vodafone proposal) was not taken up," the official said after the FIPB meeting.

The Department of Telecom, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs and the Department of Economic Affairs had to give their comments on the proposal, sources said.

CGP India Investments, an indirect Mauritian subsidiary of Vodafone International Holdings BV, had sought the approval from the Board, headed by Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram, to buy the stake held by minority shareholders in Vodafone India.

The UK-based telecom major currently holds a 64.38 per cent stake in the Indian unit.

Vodafone's minority investors include billionaire industrialist Ajay Piramal, who holds an 11 per cent stake in India's second-largest telecom company by subscribers.

Approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs is also needed for the proposal because the planned investment exceeds Rs 1,200 crore.

The government in August relaxed rules to allow foreign telecom companies to own 100 per cent of their businesses in India. Earlier, the FDI cap in the sector was 74 per cent.

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