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Instead of continuing with strong measures to collect the tax arrears coming to about Rs. 14,000 crore from major telecom company Vodafone, the NDA Government is becoming soft. It has now appointed a negotiator, former Supreme Court Chief Justice R.C.Lahoti to deal with the issue.

It is reported that there are similar other tax arrears, which in total, would come to about Rs. 27,000 crore, including that of Nokia, Oyj etc. All these also will go to the negotiator for settlement.

The BJP spokesmen have already indicated that the retrospective tax practice would retard the confidence of the foreign investors, which is a clear indication that the new government at the centre is prepared to adjust the tax arrears. Such a decision will result in heavy loss to the exchequer and windfall profit to the private MNCs. The government should, instead, be firm in collecting the due tax arrears.