Much will depend on the political transition

Finnish firm Nokia, which recently sold its mobile devices unit to U.S software giant Microsoft, wants to address its multi-million dollar tax dispute with the Centre under the bilateral investment treaty between Finland and India.

According to people with direct knowledge of the matter, this move could be a precursor to settling its tax issues through arbitration or mediation, the way telecom operator Vodafone has done recently.

Nokia is currently involved in a Rs. 21,000-crore tax dispute with Government in a legal wrangle that has blocked the company’s Chennai plant from being transferred to Microsoft as part of the mobile unit acquisition.

Letter to PM

The company has sent a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh a few weeks ago, indicating that it wanted to invoke the bilateral investment treaty in order to come to an amicable resolution.

According to people with knowledge of the matter, the firm plans on moving for international arbitration in the coming months, though much would depend on the political transition that would take place in the coming weeks.

When contacted, a Nokia spokesperson confirmed that a letter had been sent.

“Nokia is keen to work with authorities in India to resolve the tax disputes. As one of our actions Nokia has sent a letter under Finland India Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India. The letter seeks for amicable resolution of the current tax disputes,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

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