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Home > NEWS - Stop Vodafone's tax theft - 11,000 crore

05 April, 2012
Vodafone is perpetrating a textbook case of tax evasion to the tune of 11,000 crore, hiding behind international shell companies. This fortune should fund India’s schools and roads, but it will only line foreign fat-cats’ pockets unless the Indian government closes this outrageous loophole today.

Finance Minister Mukherjee’s new budget provisions could change the law and recover the funds. But global business interests are ganging up on him – this week, they even sent the British Finance Minister to bully him into dropping the provision. If thousands of us stand together behind Minister Mukherjee now, we can shore up his resolve and win this battle for tax justice.

In 2007, Vodafone’s Indian arm acquired a two-thirds stake in Indian mobile operator Hutch Essar, which is owned by a Hong Kong-based company. Even though the assets were Indian, Vodafone managed to convince the Supreme Court that this massively profitable deal was not subject to Indian capital gains tax. Not only did Vodafone evade Indian tax, it hasn’t paid tax anywhere for this windfall – all because it hides behind shell companies.

British Finance Minister Osbourne has tried to protect Vodafone and argue that India should not alter its laws to recover the back-tax from Vodafone because it would harm foreign investment in India. But the Indian consumer market is growing exponentially, and a clear and rational tax system will only spur investment further.

Even more absurdly, Mr. Osbourne has proposed a 2012 budget in the United Kingdom with exactly the same provisions to prevent corporate tax evasion! Malaysia, Norway and other countries have also introduced similar laws – because sensible governments realize they must protect their tax base from corporate thievery like Vodafone’s.

We can help Finance Minister Mukherjee stand up to this outrageous bullying and protect tax justice in India. Sign now to stop the runaway corporate greed and recover 11,000 crore for India’s public budget:

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