Govt investigating Cadbury India in tax evasion case

NEW DELHI Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:44pm IST

1 of 2. Workers protest after attending a union campaign launch at the Cadbury factory in Bournville, central England, December 15, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Darren Staples/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Authorities in India are investigating the local unit of chocolate maker Cadbury over allegations the company may have evaded as much as 2 billion rupees in taxes, the Minister of State for Finance said on Thursday, as the country beefs up its efforts to increase revenues to contain a widening fiscal deficit.

"Two cases of tax evasion by Cadbury India Ltd have been detected by the Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence during the years 2009-10 to 2012-13, up to 31st October, 2012," the minister, S.S. Palanimanickam, told parliament in a written reply to questions from lawmakers.

This is the second time in as many years Cadbury has run into trouble with Indian authorities. Last year, an investigation was launched to determine whether Kraft Foods Inc (KRFT.O) needed to pay taxes arising from its $19 billion takeover of Cadbury. That probe is ongoing.

The latest of the two cases against Cadbury's India unit, which is controlled by Mondelez International Inc (MDLZ.O), involves alleged evasion of central excise duty, or factory gate tax at a company facility in Himachal Pradesh.

The Economic Times newspaper carried a Press Trust of India report earlier this month that Cadbury had "wrongfully" claimed an area-based tax exemption for its unit in Himachal Pradesh. That report said the amount involved about 1 billion rupees.

A spokesman for Cadbury India said the company was "fully cooperating" with authorities.

"Since the investigation currently is underway, it will be inappropriate on our part to discuss the details at this time," the spokesman said in an emailed statement.

Tax officials were not immediately available for comment.

Kraft Foods Inc last month spun off its North American grocery business as Kraft Foods Group. Mondelez International is the name of what remains from Kraft Foods Inc after the spinoff. Its brands include Oreo cookies, Cadbury chocolate and Trident gum. (Additional reporting by Anurag Kotoky, Devidutta Tripathy and Nandita Bose; editing by Tony Munroe)

FILED UNDER:

REUTERS SHOWCASE

WTO Trade Deal

WTO Trade Deal

WTO clinches first global trade deal in its history  Full Article 

Kashmir Attack

Kashmir Attack

Ten dead in Kashmir's worst militant attack in more than a year  Read 

OPEC Meeting

OPEC Meeting

Saudis block OPEC output cut, oil price sinks further.  Full Article 

GDP, RBI Preview

GDP, RBI Preview

GDP growth set to weaken, business wants reforms more than rate cut  Full Article | Related Story 

Social Media

Social Media

Twitter to start tracking users' mobile apps  Full Article 

Jaitley to Rajan

Jaitley to Rajan

Jaitley likely to meet Rajan on Monday to urge rate cut  Full Article 

Banking Sector

Banking Sector

India moves to allow more businesses to offer basic financial services.  Full Article 

Forever21 in India

Forever21 in India

Forever21 sets sights on Indian cities, but please hold the hot pants  Full Article 

Japan Economy

Japan Economy

Japan inflation slows in October, output and spending show signs of recovery  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage