Vodafone India can resolve tax dispute


Protracted negotiations under close scrutiny from international investors.

Vodafone Group PLC is “positive” about resolving a protracted tax dispute with the Indian government, its Indian unit chairman said Monday.

Officials and Vodafone executives met for the second time Monday. It is “difficult to say” if there is a resolution in sight, Vodafone India Chairman Analjit Singh said,”but we are willing and positive; that is why we are here.”

Finance ministry officials couldn’t be reached for immediate comment.

The negotiations are being watched by international investors for clues about tax law and doing business in India.

The government wants to tax the world’s largest telecommunications company by number of users for a 2007 acquisition of a controlling stake in a local telecom company from Hutchison Whampoa Ltd.

The Supreme Court in January 2012 sided with the U.K.-based company saying it isn’t liable to pay tax because the deal was between two companies outside India.

The government amended the law in March 2012 allowing it to tax overseas deals. There is opposition to the change from both foreign and local companies and it is being reviewed by a government-appointed panel.