Friday, 14 October 2011
14000 crores Vodafone Scam: Chidambaram-Pranav Contradicts Again
BJP wants CBI inquiry: Dr Kirit Somaiya
Now in October 2011, Pranab Mukherjee-Finance Ministry accepted Vodafone-Hutchison deal of 2007 is a “Fraud”. Once again Chidambaram and Pranab Mukherjee have contradicted each other. This time it is Vodafone Telecom Scam of Rs. 14,000 Crores.
Dr. Kirit Somaiya, BJP National Secretary & Chairman Scam Expose Committee, released various documents of 2007 to October 2011 of Congress Government’s Vodafone Scam. It is shocking, in spite of strong objections of Finance Ministry, Shri Chidambaram, then Finance Minister authenticated the fraudulent Vodafone-Hutchison deal. In his own 2 paragraph notes of 04th May 2007 Shri Chidambaram set aside Finance Ministry’ objections and supported Vodafone-Hutchison – a scam of Rs.14,000 crores.
In its Affidavit filed before the Supreme Court in September, 2011, the Finance Ministry has acknowledged that Vodafone International had misrepresented facts, manipulated Indian Laws and violated FIPB and TRAI Norms, Telecom guidelines in its deal to acquire stake in HEL in India. Surprisingly in 2007 the then Finance Minister Shri P. Chidambaram had taken an exactly opposite stand. Shri Chidambaram’s decision not only encouraged Vodafone to violate FDI guidelines regarding sectoral cap of FDI investment in Telecom but also evaded up to Rs.14,000 Crores taxation dues under Indian laws.
This is another incident where Shri Pranab Mukherjee and Shri Chidambaram crossed each other, criticised Dr Kirit Somaiya, BJP National secretary & Chairman Scam Expose Committee. This has encouraged and supported Vodafone–Hutchison to Pocket Rs.14,000 Crores. The matter is in final phase in the Supreme Court.
Solicitor General, Shri Rohinton Nariman, says – “Vodafone-Hutchison transaction is BOGUS”
In October 2011 while arguing the case on behalf of Government of India, Solicitor General, Shri Rohinton Nariman says that the entire corporate structure of erstwhile Hutchison Group’s investment was bogus. Shri Nariman further added that Vodafone-Hutchison sale of shares through investment companies via Cayman Islands was nothing but an artificial tax avoidance scheme. The solicitor General argued that the 20 percent stake in HEL held by Shri Analjit Singh and Shri Asim Ghosh was controlled by HTIL through framework agreements. Shri Nariman further added that over 18,500 companies were registered at the same address as that of CGP the Vodafone Hutchison group Co.
Pranab Mukherjee’s Finance Ministry now says Vodafone is Fraud.
In an affidavit filed by the Finance Ministry before the Hon’ble Supreme Court in September 2011, the Ministry stated that the Vodafone-Hutchison representations and transaction is nothing but a fraud. Various benami bogus, non-transparent companies investment, transactions were to bypass the FDI/FIPB guidelines and avoid taxes of Rs.14,000 crore.
Finance Ministry’s strong objection in 2007
The officials in the Finance Ministry have taken the same view when Vodafone-Hutchison submitted their proposal to Ministry of Finance in October 2007. The matter went up for examination in the Foreign Trade Division of Ministry of Finance, whereby it was noted under the signature of Shri P. K. Bagga, on 20.04.2007, that “the representatives of HEL could not give satisfactory reply to the specific queries raised by the Board”. Shri Anup K. Pujari, the then Joint Secretary, FT Division, MoF, on 26.04.2007 noted “the clear intention was that Analjit Singh and Asim Ghosh Group of Companies are holding the shares in their name only to circumvent the sectoral limits imposed on FDI.”
Chidambaram Overruled Finance Ministry Objection
Despite the above two notings clearly establishing the fact that the transaction was violative in all respects, Shri P. Chidambaram, the then Finance Minister, in his notings on 04.05.2007, approved the transaction and supported Vodafone. He stated the same in following words:
“The AG Group, AS Group, and SMMS, shall each separately undertake that notwithstanding any agreement it may have entered into with any other party, it will not transfer to any foreign entity its financial and economic holding and interest without the prior consent of the Government, which consent shall not be withheld if the proposed transfer is compliant with Press Note No.3 of 2007 as may be modified from time to time”
The interpretation was done in a favourable manner of all the applicable clauses to deliberately approve the transaction.
Explaining these facts Dr. Kirit Somaiya, has demanded that the Finance Ministry and the PMO should probe the role played by Shri P. Chidambaram as Finance Minister in overruling his Ministry’s opinion and sanctioning Vodafone’s acquisition of stake in HEL, which caused blatant violation of FDI norms and led to subsequent evasion of taxes worth Rs.14000 crore.