Cairn Energy CEO Simon Thomson will call on Finance Secretary Ajay B Pandey on Thursday, two months after the Edinburgh-based oil and gas explorer won an arbitration award for $1.2 billion against India.

The meeting is significant as there are rumours that the government may offer Cairn an out-of-court settlement.

India has not yet appealed against the December 22 award given by the international arbitration tribunal, which asked New Delhi to pay Cairn $1.2 billion plus interest and costs. Cairn has filed cases in courts in the US, the UK and the Netherlands to register the award as a pre-emptive action in case India defaults on the payment.

Last week in a tweet, Thomson asked India to move swiftly to adhere to the award, which is a case of retrospective taxation. It is in this regard that he is scheduled to meet the Finance Secretary today.

“The arbitration is now finalised and the award has been given. We, along with others, request India to adhere to the award. That’s important for our shareholders, who are global financial institutions and who want to see a positive investment climate in India,” Thomson said.

Possible solution

Tax experts feel that this matter can be resolved through one of the options under the Vivad se Viswas Scheme, under which is if an issue has already been decided in favour of the assessee and the Department has gone in appeal, the disputed amount payable gets reduced by 50 per cent.