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03-29-2012, 10:08 AM #1
Unitech shares in Uninor JV attached by tax dept
Income tax department has seized shares of Unitech Group companies through which the realty firm holds stake in mobile telecom firm, Uninor.
"We can confirm that Uninor is in receipt of notices from the Income Tax Department stating that the shares owned by Unitech Ltd, through their companies Acorus, Cestos and Simpson, in our company have been attached," Uninor said in a statement on Thursday.
Unitech, which holds 32.75 per cent stake in Uninor which is operated by its estranged Norwegian partner Telenor, however, said its group firms have challenged the order of the IT Department before Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeal), saying the demand made was based on the "presumptive gains" on their shareholding in Unitech Wireless.
The real estate firm had sold 67.25 per cent stake in Unitech Wireless, that had won 22 telecom license, to Norway's Telenor for $1.2 billion. The Rs 10 share was transferred at a premium to Telenor and IT department has now raised a tax demand on Unitech's group firms, saying the premium on their existing holding in Uninor was capital gains.
Unitech group firms have countered this saying it was a presumptive gain and the companies would make an actual gain only when they sell the stake.
"In case of our two group companies, tax department has issued a demand order based on the 'presumptive gains' on their shareholding in Unitech Wireless, without there being any actual sale of shares by these companies and consequent profit to them," Unitech said.
The realty firm further added that the management of these group companies has challenged the order of the tax department before the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeal).
"Since the matter is sub-judice, we cannot provide further comments except that the management of these companies is confident that such baseless tax demand will be set aside by the concerned authorities," Unitech said.
Unitech hold 32.75 stake in Uninor through its group companies Acorus, Cestos and Simpson and rest of 67.25 per cent stake is held by Norwegian telecom company Telenor.
Uninor further clarified that this act of I-T department will not effect its operations.
"We wish to clarify that this has nothing to do with the running operations of Uninor nor has any effect on them," Uninor said.
Supreme Court in February cancelled 122 telecom licenses allocated in 2008, including 22 of Uninor.