tax levied on it.
In each case, whether it is Shell, Nokia or Vodafone, or the countless others, the real issue that needs to be kept in mind is the costs of this tax stridency—this is why the Parthasarathi Shome committee was against retrospective amendments; this is why, despite everything, India has kept the Mauritius route open. And let’s make no mistake, this is about the costs of doing business in India, it is not about whether it is morally okay or not to avoid paying taxes. The fact of the matter is India does not charge taxes on all things—it gives tax breaks for those producing in SEZs because it thinks this will stimulate production, it gives tax breaks to individuals on buying insurance because it thinks this serves a social purpose; all told, in FY12, tax breaks worth R3,93,000 crore were given. So if a Vodafone or a Nokia did not pay taxes, this is because the law allowed it, and the law allowed it because it wanted their business. India wishing to review the law is its business, as is relooking the way MNCs are pricing their exports, but there is an economic impact of all this. It will be interesting to see if the budget will try and address some of these concerns.