Friday, April 16, 2021

Deputies approve hearing of the Director-General of AT. EDP ​​”available”

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Vitor Oliveira / Wikimedia

The deputies of the Budget and Finance Committee unanimously approved this PS’s request for an urgent hearing by the director general of AT on the transfer of the concession of six dams between EDP and Engie.

The PS announced on March 23, during a hearing to the Ministers of State and Finance, João Leão, and the Environment and Digital Transition, Matos Fernandes, that he intended to request the hearing of the Director-General of the Tax and Customs Authority (AT) on the sale of the concession of six dams in the Douro by EDP.

In the application, the deputies of the PS underline that it is “crucial to clarify and conclude whether or not there was aggressive or abusive tax planning in the transmission of titles” of the dams and justify the call for Helena Borges because it is up to AT to “inspect the business”.

“EDP and Engie adopted a business model for the transmission of the titles for the use of water resources of the six Douro dams in the amount of 2,200 million euros”, says the application, pointing out that the deal was concluded at the end of 2020, having been “subject to a model that we consider complex and, at the very least, creative”.

The PS deputies also refer that the Budget and Finance committee has already heard, within the scope of this sale process, the executive chairman of EDP, Miguel Stilwell d’Andrade, but consider that the manager “was unable to give clear answers that contributed to clarify the operation ”.

“Couldn’t explain what was the specific purpose of the business model adopted. We only use such a complex and creative business model when a specific purpose is at stake ”, the document reads.

On the same day, EDP expressed its “availability and interest” in clarifying AT about the transfer of the concession of six dams to Engie, in a letter sent to the entity’s director-general, Helena Borges.

In the missive, the Lusa had access, the company said that “without prejudice to any initiative that AT intends to autonomously develop in this regard, EDP expresses its availability and interest in clarifying issues that have arisen in relation to the fiscal framework of the operation, in particular stamp duty, on which EDP has acted in accordance with the opinion of experts and in good faith ”.

The group then says that “it remains available to provide the information that allows AT to scrutinize the operation in question, taking into account AT’s position, in an environment of transparency and trust, based on a constructive and efficient dialogue”. “We reiterate our sole purpose of clarifying the entire operation, being available to provide any clarifications that they deem necessary,” he concluded.

On November 13, 2020 it was announced that the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) had approved the sale of EDP dams (Miranda, Bemposta, Picote, Baixo Sabor and Foz-Tua) to Engie.

On December 17, EDP concluded the sale by 2.2 billion euros from six dams in the Douro river basin to a consortium of investors formed by Engie, Crédit Agricole Assurances and Mirova.

The deal has led opposition parties to cast several doubts, namely about the fact that EDP has not paid the Stamp Duty in the amount of 110 million euros.

The PSD and Bloco de Esquerda accused the Government of “creating a set of fantasies” that led the process to “tax engineering” or “tax planning (aggressive) for avoid taxes on this transaction”.

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