New Delhi : UK-based Vodafone Group on Wednesday expressed the hope that the new government would set in reforms that would help improve the ease of doing business in India and does not rule out finding a solution to the Rs 11,200 crore tax dispute outside arbitration.
On a short visit to India, Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao told the media that the outlook in the country has changed after the elections and he felt the Modi Government was pro-business.
Though the Group was not obsessed in buying companies in India, it was keeping its mind open on the issue and also on mergers and acquisitions. Still he would describe the scene about the upcoming spectrum auction as one that creates uncertainties. “I think the mood of investors with the new government of India is positive because the intentions are good. My recommendation is make sure that political intentions (are) translated into administrative acts,” he said.
On the tax dispute with the government, he said, there is a process which is a kind of civilised process that has been established between nations and companies to resolve disputes. “That’s great and we will just follow the process…The problem in India is slow and some tines contradictory to the speed of the regulatory process. There is an arbitration process, we think the process can happen,” he said.
Asked whether Vodafone can enter into an agreement with the government directly on the issue, he said,”You can never rule out anything in an arbitration process because it is a mechanism for finding a private solution to the dispute. So nothing can be ruled out.”
To another question if arbitration process has started, Colao said it was in a preliminary stage.
Asked whether Vodafone was disappointed that the new government left the tax dispute as it is in the first budget, Colao said he was not disappointed.