The finance ministry on Tuesday promised to look into some taxation issues raised by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) and also certain suggestions made by them such as permitting them in short-term corporate paper.Some of these suggestions could be reflected in the Budget as well.
After a meeting with FPIs here, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das (pictured) said: “Suggestions both in terms of process simplification as well as some new suggestions have come ... some taxation issues were raised. The Department of Revenue also participated in the meeting so we will examine and look at the suggestions they have made.”
Sources said the finance ministry discussed the proposal to allow FPIs to invest in corporate paper with outstanding maturity of less than three years.
To attract sticky and long term foreign money, current rules don’t permit overseas investors to invest in ultra short-term or short-term debt. The minimum maturity requirement is set at three years and there has been demand by FPIs to lower the same, particularly in the corporate debt segment.
Also, the meeting discussed the possibility of tweaking the definition of broad-based funds. A fund has to have a minimum of 20 investors to qualify as broad-based fund in category-2 of the FPI regulations. One proposal mooted was to define broad-basing of funds on investment amount instead of compulsory requirement of minimum set of investors, sources said.
FPIs also request to fasten the process to obtain a PAN number to ease their entry into the Indian market, they said.
FPIs have also been demanding that tax issues relating to proposed India-Singapore double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA) and General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR) be resolved.