Meeting with Finance Secretary was ‘constructive’: Cairn CEO

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Feb 18, 2021

Simon Thomson, Cairn Energy CEO | Photo Credit: Indira Balaji@Chennai

Meet took place to find a way out post the $1.2-b arbitration award in favour of the firm

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cairn Energy Simon Thomson on Thursday termed his meeting with Finance Secretary AB Pandey as ‘constructive.’

It was his first meeting after an international arbitration tribunal gave an award in favour the Edinburgh-based company asking the Indian Government to pay $1.2 billion plus interest and cost.

Court cases

The company has also moved various courts in different countries such as the US, the UK and the Netherlands to register the arbitration award, a prelude to seeking legal seizure of assets in case the Indian Government fails to pay.

Though Simon had sought a meeting with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, she did not meet him and deputed the Finance Secretary, who is also in-charge of the Revenue Department, to meet him.

CBDT chief

The meeting was attended by Chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes PC Mody and other senior officials.

“We had a constructive dialogue and the dialogue is ongoing,” Thomson told reporters after the meeting.

He refused to comment on what transpired at the meeting. “I can’t comment more on the meeting,” he said.

The government has given an indication that it will file an appeal before the appropriate forum.

Cairn said the government can give its assets overseas if India fails to return the value of the shares sold, dividend seized and tax refund withheld by the Income Tax Department to recover part of the tax demand.

Identifying assets

The firm has started identifying assets it could seize if the Indian government does not comply with the tribunal order. Cairn’s hands have been forced by its shareholders, who after waiting patiently for seven years for resolution of the tax issue, now want action to recover the award.

Published on February 18, 2021
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