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Nokia tax dispute: Freeze on Finnish firm's idle Chennai factory to remain until all legal disputes are settled

While India and Finland reached an agreement on a high profile tax case involving Nokia Corp last month, the freeze on the Finnish firm's plant near Chennai will reportedly continue until all other legal disputes between the Indian government -- both at the Centre and at the state levels -- and the company are resolved.

“There are several ongoing cases between the government and Nokia on issues like local taxes, tolls, etc. Small demands have been raised in some cases as well... Unless these are resolved, the asset freeze will not be lifted,” a person familiar with the development was quoted as saying by The Economic Times.

However, the freeze doesn't apply to machinery and Nokia can apparently dispose machinery housed within the Sriperumbudur facility, the newspaper added.

 Nokia tax dispute: Freeze on Finnish firms idle Chennai factory to remain until all legal disputes are settled

Representational image. Reuters

On 20 April, India and Finland reportedly settled the tax dispute under the Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP), which essentially closes all pending proceedings related to a tax matter.

Nokia's assets in India had been frozen over the unresolved tax case.

Nokia employs 6,300 people in Finland and around 102,800 globally. The firm turned profitable again in India, just over a year after the relaunch of its phones.

Amit Goyal, Global Business Head (north & east), HMD GLobal, in April, said 70 million Nokia units were sold globally in 2017 and feature phones accounted for a major share of that pie. HMD Global is the global licensee of the Nokia brand for a 10-year period. The company will continue to focus on feature phones as 50 percent of the Indian market is ruled by this segment.

Nokia ruled the global mobile phone market a decade ago and was a dominant economic engine for Finland, contributing four percent of the nation's GDP and 20 percent of its exports. Nokia's collapse was a major reason for Finland's decade of stagnation from which it is only just recovering.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: May 07, 2018 13:08:40 IST