India probes Cadbury for alleged tax evasion

India on Thursday accused the local unit of candy giant Cadbury of evading millions of dollars in taxes as the nation seeks to boost revenues and narrow a yawning fiscal gap.

The Directorate General of Central Excise Investigation (DGCEI) has found two cases of alleged tax evasion involving Cadbury India, junior finance minister S.S. Palanimanickam told parliament.

"Two cases of tax evasion by Cadbury India Ltd have been detected by DGCEI during the years 2009-10 to 2012-13," Palanimanickam said in a written statement to parliament.

The government has stepped up its tax collection drive in a bid to raise revenue and reduce a ballooning fiscal deficit.

The minister said one case involved the alleged non-payment by Cadbury of two billion rupees ($36 million) in excise duties -- taxes on manufacture of goods -- at a plant in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh.

Another case involved a tax demand for 117 million rupees in service taxes and an equal sum as penalty.

Cadbury has already paid 121 million rupees in taxes and another 5.3 million rupees in interest, he said.

Cadbury India, controlled by international snacks maker Mondelez International, said in a statement it was "fully cooperating with the authorities on this enquiry" and had no further comment.

 

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