Nokia’s interim CEO discusses tax liability issue with Commerce Min. Anand Sharma

Nokia’s interim CEO discusses tax liability issue with Commerce Min. Anand SharmaFinnish handset maker Nokia on Wednesday repeated its warning that it could close its Chennai factory unless Indian government resolves the Rs 21,153 crore tax liability issue at the earliest.

Risto Siilasmaa, Chairman & interim CEO of Nokia, said the company as deeply concerned about thousands of jobs at stake at the Chennai factory.

He said the company for the time being had no plans to close the factory but it would be left with no other option in case it was not allowed to transfer the factory to Redmond-based tech giant Microsoft.

Speaking about the issue, he said, "If we are not allowed to transfer, we will have a factory but no business. And if we don't have a business, we can't manufacture anything in the factory. And that would be detrimental to our employees and we care for them."

Siilasmaa was speaking to reporters after a meeting with Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, who said they discussed the complex issues and he would discuss the issues with the Finance Minister soon.

Last year, the Department of Income Tax (I-T) slapped Rs 21,153-crore tax demand notice on Nokia India and froze its assets, including the Chennai factory, for breaching tax norms since 2006 while making royalty payments to its Finland-based parent company.

Meanwhile, Nokia India has moved the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court's order directing the company to give an undertaking to fulfill the conditions relating to payment of tax dues.

The handset maker's Chennai factory currently employs nearly 8,000 people; while also supporting more than 30,000 sub-contractors.