On Tuesday, while conversing with a friend, he told me that the news was all over the place and in the front page of http://www.livemint.com. It was that the government in India had served a tax notice on Vodafone to collect dues of Rupees 14,000+ crores and that failure to pay would result in seizure of assets in India.
On Wednesday, as I was waiting for my flight to be called in Chennai, I sketched out a skeleton of my thoughts on the news. On Wednesday night in Singapore, I developed it fully, sought some feedback from friends and received one. On Thursday, it was published in ‘Swarajya’. Here is the link.
Since I have made all the points I wanted to make in the article, I do not have to rehash them here.
After I submitted the piece to ‘Swarajya’, India’s Minister for Communication, Ravishankar Prasad, had been cited in ‘Business Standard’ as saying that the Government in India had done favours to Vodafone too. I am not quite sure what does that mean?
The issue is not that anyone wants the Government of India to do favours to Vodafone (or, for that matter, to any multinational). Indeed, there is no need to do any special favour nor single them out for discrimination.
The question in this particular matter is this: what purpose did the serving of the notice achieve?
No one in government had provided a satisfactory answer to that question yet.