VSNL Contests Govt Director Claim On Tata Teleservices Deal

Mumbai, May 30: | Updated: May 31 2002, 05:30am hrs
Reacting strongly to the government nominee on the Videsh Sanchar Nigam (VSNL) board, Rakesh Kumars allegation that he had not approved VSNLs Rs 1,200 crore investment into Tata Teleservices (TTL), VSNL executive director (Legal) and company secretary Satish Ranade has shot off a strong letter to Mr Kumar. The letter explicitly states that Mr Kumar had not raised any objection to the proposed investment, in the course of the board meeting held on May 28.

The letter to Mr Kumar, which was circulated among the press, explicitly states, After the presentation and the conclusion of the discussions thereon where all the directors expressed their views, the board unanimously approved the proposal to invest up to Rs 1,200 crore in the share capital of TTL, you did not express any dissent to the proposal.

VSNL Futures Quote At 11-13% Discount To Cash Market

Sudhir Shetty
MUMBAI, MAY 30: A huge aberration is being witnessed between the prices of the underlying VSNL stock in the cash and futures markets for the past few days. Dealers say that the widening gap between the futures and its underlying stock price is a clear indicator that the market has taken into account the fact that shares of VSNL which are not accepted under the open offer by the Tata group, will soon be returned to the market.

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Mr Ranade goes on to add, During the deliberations at the board there was no note of dissent from you nor did you demand any vote on any item including Item No B11.

Item No B11 is the one that pertained to the investment of up to Rs 1,200 crore into TTL in the agenda note circulated among the members of the board, a week before the meeting, according to the letter.

Mr Ranade also contests the claim that the note was not circulated to the government nominee before the meeting.

The VSNL management, however, did not furnish the press with the agenda note or the minutes of the May 28 board meeting.

The letter has been sent in response to Mr Kumars allegation that the decision had not been unanimously approved by the board. This charge had been made by Mr Kumar in a letter to Mr Ranade on May 29, a day after the board meeting.

In the meantime, Union minister for telecommunications, Pramod Mahajan, and secretary department of telecommunications (DoT), Shyamal Ghosh, along with other members of DoT, held a closed door meeting.