Govt for out-of-court settlement: Sinha

Highlights

The government on Friday said it was open to out-of-court settlement with Vodafone and Cairn on tax cases, where the arbitration process has been initiated.

Voda, Cairn tax cases

New Delhi : The government on Friday said it was open to out-of-court settlement with Vodafone and Cairn on tax cases, where the arbitration process has been initiated.

"As far as out of court settlement for Vodafone is concerned we have always said that we are prepared to discuss with friends and colleagues in Vodafone in good faith as to whether it might be possible to get to negotiated settlement we are always open to those discussions," Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said.

Foreign investors like Vodafone have dragged government to arbitration over Rs 20,000 crore tax disputes arising out of retrospective applicability of the tax law. British oil explorer Cairn Energy plc has also initiated a similar move over Rs 10,247 crore tax liability due to the same reason.

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.

Cairn had in April named former Bulgarian minister and lawyer Stanimir A Alexandrov as its arbitrator in the matter. India on its part has said it would soon appoint an arbitrator in the tax dispute. Asked if the government is considering out-of-court settlement for Vodafone, CBDT Chairperson Anita Kapur said, the government is always in the favour of reducing litigation.

"Our goal is to ensure that our tax system is fair, it's simple, it's predictable. Our endeavour with respect to all these specific cases is that we always we will attempt in all good faith to try and settle them," he added.

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