Vodafone does a somersault, says Modi govt pro-business

Vodafone does a somersault, says Modi govt pro-business

Close on the heels of raising concerns over difficulties in doing business in India, British telecom giant Vodafone on Wednesday heaped praises on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government saying there was an “amazing change” in the mood of the international community with a  pro-business government.

“The new government’s intentions are good and investors are positive about India. I see this government as a pro-business government. The international community and media is positively inclined towards this. Prime Minister Modi and his government can really make a new India. I, like many international investors, am waiting  to see this changed India,” Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao, on his first official visit to India after the new government took over, told reporters.

World’s second largest telecom firm Vodafone, which is embroiled in a Rs 20,000-crore tax dispute in India, had earlier this  month said it was difficult for foreign companies to do business in the country because of slower government clearances.  In a departure from the past, Calao said, “The industry requires simple rules, sufficient  resources and quick decisions. So I think some of the steps India has made are in the right direction for the investors".

“It is not the first 100 days, its the first 1000 days, I am hopeful," said Calao, whose company has invested Rs 70,000 crore in India so far and has 92 million rural customers. To a question on tax dispute with the government, he said, the company would follow the “established process between nations and companies to resolve disputes”.

On whether Vodafone could enter into an agreement with the government directly on the issue, he said, “You can never rule out anything in an arbitration process because it is a mechanism for finding a private solution to the dispute.”

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