Vodafone India was top MNC investor in FY15

NEW DELHI: British telecom major Vodafone, which is facing taxation issues in India, was the top MNC investor in the country during April-February period of the fiscal 2014-15.

As per the data available with Commerce and Industry Ministry for April-February period, Vodafone India’s $1.5 billion investment in May 2014 was the biggest by any multinational company.

The country’s second largest telecom operator on the basis of subscriber count is facing a tax liability of over Rs 20,000 crore including penalty in interest on its 2007 acquisition of Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa’s stake in Hutchison Essar. It is also facing other tax disputes.

The dispute was over tax liability arising out of Vodafone’s 2007 purchase of Hutchison Whampoa’s Indian assets.

The UK-based firm has been maintaining that it owed no taxes because the acquisition of Hong Kong-based Hutchison’s business was between two international companies, with the target asset registered in the Cayman Islands.

Income Tax Department says that Vodafone should have withheld part of the amount as tax while paying Hutchison. The issue went to the Supreme Court which in January 2012 said the deal was not taxable in India.

Vodafone in May last year abandoned conciliation talks and initiated arbitration proceedings against the government over the tax demand.

It faces a demand of over Rs 20,000 crore, of which Rs 8,000 crore is the tax due and the rest is interest and penalty.

The other major investors during the period include GlaxoSmithkline Pharmaceuticals, Aditya Birla Minac Worldwide and Sesa Sterlite.

By courtesy of TOI Tech

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