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IT survey of Chennai Nokia unit over

Chennai, Jan 9 (): Income Tax (IT) officials completed the ‘survey’ of Chennai Nokia unit here today morning.

IT men corrected the media reports yesterday that there was a raid on Nokia and termed it as a survey of the records. The survey conducted by 20 IT men started yesterday morning and was completed today morning.

IT officials said that today evening they would release a statement but unofficially they said that their hunch was right. From 2005, Nokia has not paid any taxes on the money it was paying to its parent company in Finland. As expected, around Rs 2500 crore of taxes will have to be paid.

Meantime, Norwegian telecom operator Vodafone has been given a reminder that it owes IT Rs 14000 crore over acquisition of Hutchinson’s India operations. Vodafone is likely to seek protection under the India- Netherlands trade treaty which protects the latter’s investment and move International tribunals.

India changed its 50 year old tax law by adding new clauses and gave it a retrospective effect to make Vodafone pay up. It then went to court challenging the $2-billion claim and after a five year legal suit, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Vodafone. The Indian government has challenged the verdict and the hearing will start in February.

Yet another major concern is that its 900 Mhz spectrum licenses held in Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi which expires in 2014 will be put up for auction. Vodafone will be allowed to retain 2.5 Mhz spectrum but at prevailing market rates.

Vodafone says after the 30% cut in base price by the Cabinet, the price is nineteen times more than its existing price and would make mobile charges costly. It also states that having to take part in the auction compulsorily in 2014 if it has to be in business is illegal that is not mentioned in the license agreement. The company said certain other changes in the forthcoming auction rules is not good for the company.