Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia, on Tuesday, raised the Rs.2,080-crore tax dispute with Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, seeking his help for an early resolution of the matter.
“He (Nokia Executive Vice-President for Devices and Services Stephen Elop) met the Minister and asked him to resolve the tax issue. The Minister has suggested he should approach the ministry concerned, which is the Finance Ministry,” a source said.
Nokia India has been slapped with a tax demand notice of Rs.2,080 crore for the five years beginning 2006-07. The demand concerns the tax treatment of payments made for software supplied by Nokia’s parent company for devices produced in India. Indian tax authorities consider the payments as royalties that are subject to taxation in India.
While Mr. Elop refused to say if he raised the tax demand with Mr. Sharma, sources said the issue figured during the talks.
Mr. Elop said, “The principal reason here is to reassure and provide complete support for our great efforts here in India. I have had the opportunity to meet the minister just a few minutes ago.”
U.S. software giant Microsoft last week agreed to acquire a major part of Nokia’s devices and services business and licence its patents for about $7.2 billion. Nokia will keep its telecom network equipment arm NSN and mapping and location services. Mr. Elop said he was in Chennai with the Nokia factory team earlier on Tuesday.