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Cadbury under excise scanner

business Updated: Nov 22, 2012 23:03 IST

The India unit of chocolate maker Cadbury is being investigated over allegations the company may have evaded as much as Rs. 213 crore in taxes, the government informed Parliament on Thursday.

"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," said S S Palanimanickam, minister of State for Finance S S Palanimanickam, in a written reply to questions from MPs.

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 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.

A Cadbury India spokesperson said: "we are fully cooperating with the authorities on this enquiry. Since the investigation currently is under way, it will be inappropriate on our part to discuss the details at this time".

(With inputs from Reuters and PTI)