Vodafone to invest $3 bn over next two years

In a separate development,the firm on Wednesday contested allegation levelled on it by international SIM card provider Matrix Cellular.

Written by Press Trust Of India | New Delhi | Published: December 5, 2013 12:45 am

Notwithstanding its nearly Rs 12,000 crore tax dispute with the government,Vodafone plans to invest $3 billion in the next two years that will be deployed for network expansion in rural areas.

Vodafone global CEO Vittorio Colao,however,declined to go into the details of the “positive” meeting he had with finance minister P Chidambaram yesterday on the tax issue. “I am grateful to the finance minister for giving me time to meet him. It is good to have a dialogue between an enterprise and the policy maker. It is positive,” Colao said,but he parried a question whether Vodafone would be willing to pay up around Rs 11,200 crore income tax demand.

“Our organic or real investment into the country is a significant $3 billion in two years… is the right decision,” he said. “First,India has an opportunity for growth because of population and other factors. We will be long-term players. I am happy we are here for long-term investment. I am not here for 4 years but for 20 years and more,” he said.

In a separate development,the firm on Wednesday contested allegation levelled on it by international SIM card provider Matrix Cellular that it misrepresented facts in SIM renting case of 2007 in which Department of Telecom and Intelligence Bureau found various irregularities. “The allegations are without merit and will be strongly contested,as appropriate,” Vodafone India’s spokesperson told PTI.

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