Singh: Seeking solution
New Delhi, Feb. 4: Vodafone India non-executive chairman Analjit Singh today met revenue secretary Sumit Bose to resolve the Rs 11,200-crore tax liability issue related to the British firm’s acquisition of the Indian telecom assets of Hutchison Whampoa.
“We met the revenue secretary today,” Singh said. He, however, did not provide any detail on whether a resolution was in sight.
“That is difficult to say. But we are willing and positive and that is why we are here,” Singh said.
Finance minister P. Chidambaram, too, had expressed confidence that the government would find a solution to the Vodafone tax issue.
“I am confident that we will find a resolution to the Vodafone issue so that we can put it behind us and move forward,” Chidambaram had said after a meeting with global investors in London late last month.
Vodafone has been slapped with an income tax demand notice of Rs 11,200 crore on its 2007 acquisition of Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa’s stake in its Indian telecom business.
The liability arose following the then finance minister Pranab Mukherjee amending the Income Tax Act, 1961 with retrospective effect to undo the Supreme Court judgment that had ruled in favour of the company.
The government is working towards a solution based on recommendations of the Shome panel, which suggested that either the government should withdraw the retrospective tax amendment or waive the penalty in case it had to recover the taxes.
The government is likely to announce some steps to deal with the issue in the budget for 2013-14 to be unveiled on February 28.
Last week, Vodafone won a reprieve from the telecom trbunal over the payment of a one-time spectrum fee of Rs 3,599 crore. Telecom tribunal TDSAT had stayed the DoT order on the fee till its next hearing on February 25.
Passing an interim order, a single-member bench of the TDSAT said there would be “no coercive action” against the company.
Vodafone is opposing the department of telecom’s move to levy a one time charge on spectrum allocated to it beyond the initial allocation of 4.4 MHz.