Voda Ex­ecs Call on FinMin Of­fi­cials to Set­tle Tax Row

Fin Secy says co en­thused by pos­i­tive at­ti­tude of new govt, is keen on in­vest­ing more in mar­ket

The Economic Times - - Companies - OUR BUREAU

Voda­fone, which has served an ar­bi­tra­tion no­tice on In­dia in con­nec­tion with its .` 20,000-crore tax dis­pute, sought to reach out to the new govern­ment as the com­pany’s ex­ec­u­tives called on se­nior fi­nance min­istry of­fi­cials Fri­day. A fi­nance min­istry of­fi­cial said the com­pany was keen on con­cil­i­a­tion and set­tling the tax dis­pute out­side the ju­di­cial process. The govern­ment has to ap- point an ar­bi­tra­tor be­fore June 15 fol­low­ing the ar­bi­tra­tion no­tice. The meet­ings come in the back­drop of the new Naren­dra Modi-led govern­ment promis­ing a sta­ble tax regime. The new law min­is­ter Ravi Shankar Prasad had de­clared soon af­ter tak­ing over that chang­ing the law with ret­ro­spec­tive ef­fect should nor­mally be avoided as In­dia needs for­eign in­vest­ment. The is­sue goes to the heart of the Voda­fone case, in which the law was changed to ap­ply to an old trans­ac­tion. Voda­fone’s ex­ter­nal af­fairs di­rec­tor Mathew Kirk met fi­nance sec­re­tary Arvind Ma­yaram and rev­enue sec­re­tary Ra­jiv Takru. The com­pany’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives said they were keen to in­vest fur­ther in the In­dian mar­ket, ac­cord­ing to Ma­yaram. “They came to talk to me about their plans for fu­ture in­vest­ments,” he said. “They are very en­thused (by the) pos­i­tive at­ti­tude of new govern­ment. They are happy with their op­er­a­tions in the coun­try. They say it’s a very prof­itable oper­a­tion.”

In its last few key de­ci­sions, the Congress-led UPA govern­ment had cleared the with­drawal of the con­cil­i­a­tion of­fer to Voda­fone, putting the ball firmly in the court of the new govern­ment to take an in­de­pen­dent view on this tax dis­pute and the ret­ro­spec­tive law that prompted its es­ca­la­tion. Voda­fone’s no­tice for in­ter­na­tional ar­bi­tra­tion is un­der the In­di­aNether­lands bi­lat­eral in­vest­ment treaty.

The ori­gins of the dis­pute lie in the de­ci­sion of the In­dian tax au­thor­i­ties, a few years ago, to im­pose a prin­ci­pal tax li­a­bil­ity of .` 8,000 crore on Voda­fone for fail­ing to deduct tax on its $11-bil­lion pay­ment to Hutchi­son Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions In­ter­na­tional for the ac­qui­si­tion of Hutchi­son Es­sar (now called Voda­fone In­dia). Voda­fone had moved court say­ing that the deal took place over­seas and couldn’t be taxed.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.