The Commerce and Industry Minister, Suresh Prabhu said that the telecom ministry will take a final call on the Idea Cellular Limited's proposal regarding infusing of 100 percent foreign direct investment in the company, reports from PTI.
He said that the telecom ministry is the competent authority to take a final decision about Idea's proposal.
Department of Telecom (DoT) has put in some conditions while seeking views of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) on the said proposal.
"The matter is completely in the domain of the line ministry. We have already clarified. No need of our approval," Prabhu said.
He further added that the matter was communicated to DoT that they are the competent authority to deal with the proposal.
"We have sent back (the proposal) immediately. We have stated that it is for you to decide," he said, adding that tax liabilities do not constitute an additional condition.
Currently, the FDI policy allows any overseas firms to buy up to 49 percent stake in an Indian telecom company under automatic approval. For the stake which is over and above 49 percent, government's approval is required.
Telecom companies - Idea and Vodafone announced that they will combine their operations to create the country's largest telecom operator worth over USD 23 billion.
The foreign shareholding in Idea as on March 31, 2018, stands at 34 percent along with 7.49 percent in promoter group and the rest as public shareholders. The British telecom multinational Vodafone Group Plc is a majority shareholder in Vodafone India.
Foreign companies stake holding in the combined entity will break the automatic sanction limit of 49 percent.
As per the existing Idea-Vodafone merger announcement, Vodafone will hold 45.1 percent of the combined entities after transferring 4.9 percent stake to Aditya Birla Group for Rs 3,900 crore in terms of cash, concurrent with the completion of the merger.
As the DoT had added a condition in the proposal, the matter was sent to the DIPP.