The government will defend a notice for arbitration from Vodafone Group Plc in a more than $2 billion tax dispute, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said on Thursday.
Vodafone Group Plc on Wednesday served a fresh arbitration notice to India over the Rs 20,000 crore tax dispute, a development that has prompted the Indian government to seek withdrawal of its conciliation offer to settle the row amicably.
The Finance Ministry, according to officials, has already obtained the opinion of the law ministry and has drafted a Cabinet note for withdrawing the non-binding conciliation offer it had made to Vodafone in June last year.
In its notice on April 17, Vodafone said it will go ahead with international arbitration, preferably in London, to resolve the long-pending tax dispute concerning its 2007 acquisition of Hutchison Whampoa’s stake in Hutchison Essar.
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