India pays Cairn Rs 7,900 crore to settle retro tax dispute – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Indian authorities has paid Cairn Vitality Plc Rs 7,900 crore to refund taxes it had collected to implement a retrospective tax demand, ending a seven-year-old dispute that had tarred the nation’s picture as an funding vacation spot.
The corporate, which is now often known as Capricorn Vitality PLC, in an announcement mentioned it has obtained “web proceeds of $1.06 billion”, of which practically 70 per cent will likely be returned to the shareholders.
The tax division had used a 2012 laws, which gave it powers to return 50 years and slap capital good points levies wherever possession had modified arms abroad however enterprise belongings have been in India, to hunt Rs 10,247 crore in taxes from Cairn.
Cairn had in 2006-07 reorganised its India enterprise, which comprised operations of prolific Rajasthan oilfields, previous to its itemizing on inventory exchanges.
Whereas the corporate offered majority holding within the India unit to Vedanta in 2011, it was in 2014 slapped with the tax demand discover over alleged capital good points made on the reorganisation.
The British agency contested the demand, saying all taxes due have been duly paid when the reorganisation, which was authorized by all statutory authorities, came about.
However the tax division in 2014 connected and subsequently offered the residual shares that Cairn held within the Indian unit. It additionally withheld tax refunds and confiscated dividends attributable to it to settle a part of the tax demand. All this totalled Rs 7,900 crore.
Cairn dragged the federal government to worldwide arbitration over the levy and enforcement proceedings and on December 22, 2020, bought a beneficial ruling that requested India to refund the tax collected along with curiosity and penalty.
The federal government initially refused to honour the award however in August 2021 introduced a legislation to scrap all retrospective tax calls for and refund cash collected however with none curiosity or penalty.
The change of coronary heart adopted Cairn initiating seizure of the Indian authorities’s abroad belongings — starting from flats utilized by its diplomatic workers in Paris to Air India planes within the US — to get well the refund due.
As a part of the settlement reached with the federal government over the levy of again taxes, Cairn withdrew all instances that have been introduced to gather the tax refund ordered by the worldwide arbitration tribunal after rescinding retrospective elevating of demand.
Simon Thomson, chief govt, Capricorn Vitality, commented: “India has a particular place in our firm’s historical past and we’re very happy that this situation has now been concluded.”
He mentioned the corporate’s funding in India started within the Nineties when it was one of many first worldwide companies to take part within the nation’s oil and gasoline business with operations in Andhra Pradesh after which Gujarat.
Nevertheless it was the invention of the Mangala oil discipline in Rajasthan in January 2004, one of many largest ever hydrocarbon discoveries in India, that had the largest impression.
“The corporate in the end made greater than 40 discoveries within the space and constructed the world’s longest heated pipeline to take the crude from the Mangala Processing Terminal to the coast, with manufacturing commencing in August 2009. At present, the terminal continues to offer greater than a 3rd of India’s complete crude oil manufacturing,” he mentioned.
Searching for to restore India’s broken status as an funding vacation spot, the federal government in August 2021 enacted a brand new laws to drop Rs 1.1 lakh crore in excellent claims towards multinationals akin to telecom group Vodafone, prescription drugs firm Sanofi and brewer SABMiller, now owned by AB InBev, and Cairn.
About Rs 8,100 crore collected from firms below the scrapped tax provision are to be refunded if the corporations agreed to drop excellent litigation, together with claims for curiosity and penalties. Of this, Rs 7,900 crore is due solely to Cairn.
Subsequent to this, the federal government in November 2021 notified guidelines that when adhered to will result in the federal government withdrawing tax calls for raised utilizing the 2012 retrospective tax legislation and any tax collected within the enforcement of such demand will likely be paid again.
For this, firms are required to indemnify the Indian authorities towards future claims and withdraw any pending authorized proceedings.
Cairn had on November 26, 2021, initiated proceedings to withdraw lawsuits it had filed in a number of jurisdictions to implement the worldwide arbitration award, which had overturned the levy of Rs 10,247 crore retrospective taxes and ordered India to refund the cash already collected.
First, the lawsuit introduced in Mauritius for recognition of the arbitration award was withdrawn, adopted by comparable measures within the courts in Singapore, the UK, and Canada.
On December 15, 2021, it sought and bought ‘voluntary dismissal’ of a lawsuit it had introduced in a New York courtroom to grab belongings of Air India to get well the cash due from the federal government. On the identical day, it made an identical transfer in a Washington courtroom the place it was looking for recognition of the arbitration award.
Recognition of arbitration award is step one earlier than any enforcement proceedings just like the seizure of belongings may be undertaken.
The essential lawsuit in a French courtroom, which had connected Indian properties on the petition of Cairn, was withdrawn thereafter and one within the Netherlands too was dropped.
The corporate thereafter offered documentary proof of the withdrawal of instances and furnished an indemnity bond. After detailed scrutiny of the doc, it was refunded Rs 7,900 crore.

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