In response to the report ‘At final Cabinet meeting, PM stops $400-mn FDI deal,’ in The Hindu dated May 5, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday that the item was not listed before the Cabinet on May 1.
D. S. Malik, ADG (M&C) Finance, said in a statement: “I regret to point out that the said report is an exclusive piece of fiction. There was no meeting of the CCEA on Thursday, 1st May, 2014. Further, the said item was not listed before the Cabinet on that day. I may also add that Shri P. Chidambaram, Finance Minister, was not present at the Cabinet meeting on that day and had excused himself. Hence, the entire story and the reported decision on an item not placed before the Cabinet/CCEA is wrong.”
Puja Mehra responds:
I stand corrected on the presence of Mr. Chidambaram at the meeting and regret the error.
However, the main thrust of the report, namely, that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not want the FDI proposal of KKR cleared, has been re-confirmed by a high-level source.
While some wanted the proposal cleared, the Prime Minister struck it off the agenda for the Cabinet meeting in what the source described as his last assertive action.
My report did not say that any meeting of the CCEA was held on May 1, so the assertion that no such meeting was held is pointless.