New Delhi, Apr 13: The Defence ministry on Saturday clarified that any connections drawn between the tax issue and the Rafale matter is "totally inaccurate, tendentious and a mischievous attempt to disinform".
The Ministry was responding to a French daily's report that the France government waived taxes worth 143.7 million euros owed by a local subsidiary of Anil Ambani's Reliance Global Comm Limited in 2015, around the same time when India was negotiating the Rafale aircraft deal.
Reliance Atlantic Flag France was investigated by French tax authorities and found liable to pay 60 million euros in taxes for the period 2007 to 2010. After another investigation for the period 2010 to 2012, they were asked for an additional tax demand of 91 million euros in taxes.
In a statement, the Defence ministry said, "We have seen reports drawing conjectural connection between tax exemption to a private company and procurement of Rafale fighter jets by the Government of India. Neither the period of the tax concession, nor the subject matter of the concession relate even remotely to the Rafale procurement concluded during the tenure of the present Government."
Meanwhile, Anil Ambani's firm Reliance Communication denied any favouritism or gain from tax settlement.
"During the period under consideration by the French Tax Authorities - 2008-2012, which is nearly 10 years ago, Flag France had an operating loss of Rs 20 crore (Euro 2.7 million). French tax authorities had raised a tax demand of over Rs 1100 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," the company said in a statement. (UNI)