Amid a raging row over alleged kickbacks in the AgustaWestland helicopter deal, the Foreign Investment Promotion Board has deferred a decision on increase in FDI in the Italian firm’s joint venture with Tata Sons.
Indian Rotorcraft, a joint venture of AgustaWestland (a Finmeccanica company) and Tata Sons for setting up an assembly line for the AW119Ke helicopter, had sought post-facto approval of the FIPB for increased FDI inflow of Rs 19.64 crore as against Rs 17.6 crore approved in September 2011.
Besides the increased FDI inflow, it had also sought approval for “change of the foreign investor from AgustaWestland S.p.A, Italy to Finmeccanica S.p.A by way of merger of AgustaWestland S.p.A, Italy into Finmeccanica S.p.A.”
Decision on proposal for Indian Rotorcraft has been “deferred,” said Finance Ministry in a statement.
It gave no reason for deferring the proposal. The FIPB meeting was held on April 8.
Tatas have previously said Indian Rotorcraft has “no connection whatsoever with AgustaWestland’s (AW) supply of AW101 military helicopters to the Government of India.”
It is alleged that bribe was paid for securing the contract for supply of 12 AW101 military helicopters during the previous UPA regime.
“Indian Rotorcraft’s (IRL) business proposition is to assemble AW119ke helicopters, at a facility in Hyderabad, for exports to AW for it to sell them to its customers. IRL’s business remit does not include any selling activity for defence related entities,” Tata Sons said on its website.
Tata Sons and Italian Defence major AgustaWestland had in February 2010 signed an agreement for formation of a joint venture company to establish a final assembly line for AW-119 helicopters for the Indian Army and the global market.
The Finance Ministry release further said the FIPB headed by Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das cleared seven FDI proposals worth Rs 517.57 crore, including FDI proposal of pharma company Helix lnvestment Holdings Pte Ltd.
The Finance Ministry statement said: “Based on the recommendations of Foreign Investment Promotion Board in its 233rd meeting held on April 8, 2016, the Government has approved seven FDI proposals involving FDI of Rs 517.57 crore, which includes post facto amount of Rs 18.46 crore”.
The Board cleared pharma company Helix investment Holdings Pte’s FDI proposal worth Rs 475.31 crore.
The pharma company had sought approval to invest 20 per cent in the equity of Concord Biotech Ltd by subscribing to equity shares and purchasing equity shares from existing shareholders, the statement said.
The other proposal cleared include Alchymars ICM SM Pvt Ltd’s proposal for increasing foreign equity participation from 57.15 per cent to 100 per cent by way of transfer of equity shares from resident shareholder to Gen Phar PrInvestments (GB) Limited, a UK company, by amending earlier approvals.
Besides, Jupiter Corporate Services Ltd’s request for post facto approval for regularization of 21,11,265 partly paid equity shares of face value of Rs 10/-each at a premium of Rs 60 per share to Sri Lanka based Royale Exports Limited has been approved by FIPB.
The FIPB also deferred decision on four other proposals including that of Ordain Health Care Global Pvt Ltd for acquisition of certain intellectual property of Klar Sehen Private Limited to certain products, by way of a business transfer on a slump sale basis.
Three investment proposals were also rejected, including that of Malladi Drugs and Pharmaceuticals.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country increased by 40 per cent to USD 29.44 billion during April- December of 2015-16. The foreign investment inflows were at USD 21.04 billion in the same period of previous fiscal.