Adding further fuel to the sensitive Rafale issue, the French newspaper Le Monde published Reliance Company Chairman Anil Ambani got a tax waiver of 143.7 million euros for his French based telecom company ‘Reliance Atlantic Flag France’ just 6 months after the announcement of inkling of the Rafale deal in France by PM Narendra Modi on Saturday.
The investigations carried out by the local French tax authorities found Ambani’s French telecom company due to pay 151 million euros for the audit calculated period between 2007 and 2012.
Ambani tried to settle the amount with an offer of 7.6 million euros but the French tax inspectors denied to the settlement.
Drawing parallel lines, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his visit to France in April 2014, inked of 36 Rafale jets in flyaway condition to the Indian Air Force.
Meanwhile, on October 22, 2015 the French tax authorities accepted an amount of 7.3 million euros out of the total 151 million euros as settlement from industrialist Anil Ambani, 6 months prior to the Rafale deal.
In return, Mr. Ambani was given a tax free benefit of 143.7 million thereafter.
In September 2016, anil Ambani-led Relaince Defence emerged as the prime offset partner for a 7.87 billion euors (or 30,000 crores) deal between India and France Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with a 50 percent offset clause.
However, the Anil Ambani’s company said, “It denies any favouritism or gain from settlement. Reliance Flag settled disputes as per legal framework in France available to all companies operating in France.”
In April 2015, Reliance Aeronautics Limited of Anil Ambani was announced by PM Modi in a joint venture with French partner – Dassault Aviation as ‘Dassault Reliance Aviation Limited’. This joint unit was inaugurated in Nagpur in 2016.
The MoU for this new venture was signed on September 23, 2016 after the deal got its nod between the Indian and French counterparts in Delhi on January 25, 2016.
In the mean time, the Reliance Communications Limited spokesperson has said, “During the period under consideration by the French tax authorities – 2008-2012 i.e. nearly 10 years ago, Flag France had an operating loss of Rs. 20 crore (i.e. Euro 2.7 million). French tax authorities had raised a tax demand of over Rs. 1,100 crore for the same period. As per the French tax settlement process as per law, a mutual settlement agreement was signed to pay Rs. 56 crore as a final settlement.”