The competent authority under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) has approved an order of seizure of over Rs. 5,551 crores worth of deposits of Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Xiaomi, the highest amount frozen to date in India, the ED said on Friday.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) issued the order of seizure on April 29 under the FEMA and later sent it for approval of the competent authority, as required under the law that regulates foreign exchange violations in the country.
The order has been issued under section 37A of the FEMA against Xiaomi Technology India Private, the federal agency said in a statement.
The Competent Authority appointed under FEMA has confirmed the seizure order of Rs. 5551.27 Crore dated 29.04.2022 passed by the ED against Xiaomi Technology India Private Limited under the provisions of FEMA.
— ED (@dir_ed) September 30, 2022
“This is the highest amount of seizure order in India which has been confirmed by the authority till date.”
“The authority, while confirming the seizure of Rs. 5,551.27 crore, held that ED is right in holding that foreign exchange equivalent to Rs. 5,551.27 crore has been transferred out of India by Xiaomi India in an unauthorised manner and is held outside India on behalf of the group entity in contravention of Section 4 of the FEMA,” the agency said.
The competent authority also observed that the payment of royalty is nothing but a tool to transfer the foreign exchange out of India and the same is in “blatant violation” of the provisions of FEMA, it said.
Xiaomi is a trader and distributor of mobile phones in the country under the brand name of MI and Xiaomi India is a wholly-owned subsidiary of China-based Xiaomi Group.
Earlier in August, it was reported that Xiaomi has been issued three showcase notices, with an approximate duty liability of about Rs. 653 crore, of which it had deposited only Rs. 46 lakh, as informed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to the parliament.
ED in late April seized Rs. 5,551.27 crore of Xiaomi Technology India — a wholly-owned subsidiary of the China-based Xiaomi group — under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) in connection with illegal remittances made by the firm in February this year.