Asserting that he was totally impartial in taking decisions as Minister of Communications, Union Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran on Wednesday denied any irregularity in the grant of telecom licences to Aircel.

Expressing surprise over reports that during his tenure as Minister for Communications and Information Technology he had been partial to a particular company getting Unified Access Service licences, Mr. Maran said in a statement that he had not favoured any company over others.

“Only companies fulfilling all the required conditions were given Letters of Intent in their own turn,” he said and added that the Comptroller and Auditor-General had not mentioned any loss to the exchequer on account of issue of licences during his tenure.

With specific reference to the grant of licence to Dishnet Wireless Limited (Aircel), he said even before he had become Telecom Minister in May 2004, serious queries relating to the funding potential of the company, its net worth and debt-equity ratio were raised by the Department of Telecommunications and the application was under examination even before he joined the Ministry.

The licences for the company had been approved when the file was submitted by the Department after thorough examination of all issues, including legal aspects and the company became fully eligible for allotment. “No telecom company, directly or indirectly, had ever invested in any of the companies owned by my brother during my tenure as Telecom Minister,” he said.

“I was not even a minister when M/s. Astro (A group company of Maxis, Malaysia) invested in Sun Direct in December 2007 as I had resigned on May 13, 2007. Needless to say, I own no shares or any fiduciary interest in any of these companies,” Mr. Maran said.