Finance Ministry said it is open to considering a “fair and reasonable” conciliation proposal from Vodafone to resolve the long pending Rs 20,000-crore tax dispute.
“In this (Vodafone) matter, we have to go step by step. We have said constantly that we are willing to consider all fair and reasonable proposals and so we are working through the process…,” Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said today.
British telecom major Vodafone has approached the Indian government for a conciliation in its Rs 20,000-crore tax dispute.
The government has already held one round of meeting following Vodafone’s move.
The government is yet to finalise the contours of terms of reference of conciliation talks.
Earlier this week, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia had said, “Vodafone has, in a written communication, expressed its desire to go for conciliation for its tax disputes with India”.
This case pertains to levy of capital gains tax on sale of India assets by Hong Kong-based Hutchison to Vodafone.
The basic tax demand for Vodafone was Rs 7,990 crore but the total outstanding, including interest and penalty, is estimated to have risen to Rs 20,000 crore.
The case relates to the retrospective amendment of the I-T laws carried out by the UPA government in 2012, to overturn the Supreme Court verdict which had favoured Vodafone.
The UK telecom giant has already initiated arbitration proceedings against India. While both India and Vodafone had named their respective arbitrators, the two have not yet been able to agree on a third arbitrator to preside over the proceedings.