Sources said the FIPB has sought documents relating to the loan agreements between minority shareholders Asim Ghosh, managing director, Hutch Essar, and Analjit Singh (who together hold 12.26% in Hutch Essar) and HTIL, which have now been transferred to Vodafone.
They said the FIPB sought this information to ascertain if the 74% FDI cap was being breached. The board would consider their response, as well as legal opinion from the law ministry and the final views of the RBI on any possible violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, at its next meeting.
Finance secretary Ashok Jha, who is also the FIPB chairman, said more information was sought from the concerned companies. They had agreed to provide the necessary details in the next three or four days, he added.
FIPB has sought loan agreement papers from concerned parties
Sources said though a decision was deferred, some members were of the view the company could be granted approval. If at any stage it was found the company had violated the 74% FDI cap, it could be asked to divest the excess stake to Indian entities.
The controlling stake of 52% in Hutch Essar held by HTIL was acquired by Vodafone on Februrary 11. The Essar group holds 33% in the company, of which 22% is FDI routed through its Mauritius-based arm.