Vodafone India non-executive Chairman Analjit Singh today met Revenue Secretary Sumit Bose in an attempt to resolve the Rs 11,200 crore tax liability issue related to the British firm’s acquisition of Indian telecom assets of Hutchison Whampoa.

“We met the Revenue Secretary today,” Singh told reporters but did not provide any detail when asked if 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 earlier that the government would find a resolution 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 judgement 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 which will be unveiled in the Lok Sabha on February 28.

(This article was published on February 4, 2013)
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