There have been some allegations of impropriety against Indian Civil Aviation Minister, Praful Patel. The issue is regarding the timing of granting US passage rights to 9W vis-a-vis 9W's IPO. Please see below for an article that appeared on today's Times of India website. Certainly some food for thought!
The powers that be on A.net should release Indianguy from his ban so he can comment further (as only he can) regarding Mr. Praful Patel......
Panel raps Patel for 'helping' Jet IPO
TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ THURSDAY, MARCH 31, 2005 01:21:45 AM ]
NEW DELHI: The civil aviation ministry's decisions to open up international skies to Jet Airways and grant it passage rights to the US on the opening day of its initial public offer (IPO) have resulted in minister Praful Patel coming under scathing attack from constituents of the UPA government.
Hinting at favours being doled out allegedly to push Jet's IPO prospects, members of the Parliament's standing committee on transport — which met here on Wednesday — said the clearances and policy changes were too close to the public offer for coincidence.
The attack, sources said, was led by CPM leader and standing committee chairman Nilotpal Basu. The MPs lambasted the ministry for granting speedy clearances to Jet and alleged that these steps helped the private airline get a good opening for its equity offering.
The public offer of 20% of Jet's expanded equity was oversubscribed within minutes of opening. The ministry had, in fact, granted Jet the flight right to the US on the opening day of the IPO, making it the only Indian private carrier to bag rights to fly to America.
"The MPs said the policy changes and foreign route clearances helped boost Jet's IPO prospects and improved its valuation substantially. They questioned whether the timing of these policy changes too close to the IPO was merely a coincidence," the source said.
Patel, when contacted, rubbished the allegations, saying the policy changes were initiated by the previous NDA government and his ministry has merely moved forward on that track. "I have been saying from my first day in office that foreign routes will be opened up to private airlines. In fact, the Cabinet note for opening up foreign routes was prepared by the previous government. The Jet IPO was not an issue of concern either for me or the ministry."