India said it may seize Vodafone Group Plc’s assets in the country if the company doesn’t pay a disputedRs.14,200 crore tax bill that’s still undergoing international arbitration proceedings, according to a copy of the notice that was sent to the company this month.
Anil Sant, deputy commissioner of income tax, informed the company’s Vodafone International Holdings BV Dutch unit of its dues in a letter dated 4 February, according to the document, a copy of which was seen by Bloomberg News. Spokesman Ben Padovan at Vodafone and a representative at India’s tax department declined to comment.
Any overdue amounts, even from overseas companies, may be recovered “from any assets of the non-resident which are, or may at any time come, within India,” according to the letter.
Vodafone has been fighting Indian tax authorities for years over its purchase of billionaire Li Ka-shing’s mobile-phone business in the country during 2007 in a case that analysts have said may influence foreign investors’ perceptions about India.
It’s not immediately clear what the government’s next steps would be if Vodafone were to decline the payment request.-from Mint