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pledges fairest predictable tax regime ahead of India-US dialogue in Washington
September, 15th 2015

Finance minister Arun Jaitley has promised "fairest and predictable taxation regime" while inviting US businesses to invest in the country.

Speaking at the 11th Indo-US Economic Summit organised by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce ahead of the India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (SACD) in Washington later this month, Jaitley on Monday said the government has tried to "put each one of these (taxation) issues to rest so that from the regime, which had earned an adverse reputation... we can evolve into fairest and predictable taxation regime in India".

The finance minister said India's fundamentals are sound even amidst an ongoing global turmoil and that the government is working to strengthen the real economy by focusing on quick decision making, stable policy regime, predictable taxation system and improving on ease of doing business. "The last two are work in progress," he said, adding that these initiatives ill help make India an investment destination. Earlier this month the income tax department had issued a circular asking its officials not to levy minimum alternate tax on foreign portfolio investors, an issue that had again brought India's tax administration in focus. The government had also decided not to appeal a transfer pricing case that was adjudicated in the favour of telecom major Vodafone.

Jaitley said the government has tried to resolve the legacy issue through governmental decisions, legislation or even by accepting judicial mandate. He expressed optimism that Indo-US bilateral trade would rise five times to $500 billion in the next few years — a goal set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama — despite the world passing through a turmoil. "While the US has the financial capital and advanced technology, India has a large body of trained manpower, natural resources and a large market," Jaitley said.

Addressing the summit, US Ambassador to India Richard Verma said Modi's forthcoming visit to the US, especially to the Silicon Valley, had generated lot of interest. Modi would be the second Indian prime minister to visit California after Jawaharlal Nehru.

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