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Aug 07, 2012, 09.29 AM IST
The counsel for telecom major Vodafone, Anuradha Dutt, today told CNBC-TV18 that the company will consider a settlement with the government once they are willing to discuss the matter.
“I cannot speak whether settlement can take place, will take place, but definitely that would be considered by the company,” she said.
She further added that Vodafone prefers to directly discuss the situation with the government than go the arbitration route.
Vodafone was ready to file arbitration against the government over the case of retrospective amendment, even after the Supreme Court judgement came in favour of Vodafone.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said all retrospective tax amendments will be reviewed in an attempt to boost investor confidence in India .
Below is an edited transcript of her interview with Shereen Bhan.
Q: You have heard what the finance minister has had to say, he is looking at the possibility of arriving at a reasonable fair solution. Is a settlement on the cards now?
A: I really don’t know, but I did hear his press conference and I do agree with Analjit. I think it is a very positive development. The fact is that everybody has in the political circles acknowledged that all the retrospective amendments have not gone down well with the foreign investor community.
As you know, in a developed and developing matured democracy, retrospective amendment is frowned upon and really is not the rule. So in a case where there was a Supreme Court judgment, and where the whole world and international community was watching, we have set the scenario to bring a retrospective amendment to undo the apex court decision was a very bad thing.
Q: If the finance minister has made it clear today that he is looking at a reasonable solution, would Vodafone be open to a settlement? Or would you continue to battle with the government as far as arbitration is concerned?
A: That is something for Vodafone to take a decision when the government says they are willing to discuss. As of now, we have heard a very good intentioned statement, which is welcome, but the question is will something beyond that happens.
If it does, definitely welcome and I think Vodafone will definitely consider, I cannot speak whether settlement can take place, will take place, but definitely that would be considered by the company. At this moment, that’s not what Mr. Chidambaram has said. He said he is sending all the retrospective amendments for review.
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