India reportedly preparing to consider tax settlement talks with Vodafone

A multi-billion dollar tax dispute between the Indian administration and mobile phone operator Vodafone may be edging towards a settlement, according to a media report citing sources within the Indian government.

A multi-billion dollar tax dispute between the Indian administration and mobile phone operator Vodafone may be edging towards a settlement, according to a media report citing sources within the Indian government.

News agency Bloomberg reported that an Indian Finance Ministry official with direct knowledge of the matter had claimed India had written to Vodafone saying it was ready for talks to settle the$2.2bn tax dispute.

The Bloomberg report further referenced a second unnamed official speculating that the administration could seek to waive interest and penalties on levies such as Vodafone's case, which arose from changes to tax laws applied retroactively.

On January 6th, Vodafone reportedly stated that no tax was payable after authorities allegedly sent a reminder about the liability, which arose from the 2007 purchase of Hutchinson Whampoa Ltd's Indian assets.

Bloomberg reported that the Supreme Court ruled in January last year that Vodafone wasn't liable and dismissed the government's case. Former Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee amebnded the tax law in March 2012's budget to revive the claim.

Vodafone's share price was up 0.55% to 165.4p at 13:00 on Friday afternoon.

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