Tax disputes with three firms to be resolved soon says Jaitley

FM says govt committed to GST rollout, reforms and containing fiscal deficit

Pitching for more foreign investments, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Sunday India would give better returns than many other countries. He also assured the government was working to expeditiously resolve tax disputes involving three overseas companies.

Jaitley, who was in Hong Kong to meet foreign investors and fund houses, emphasised that the government wanted to resolve expeditiously the entire instability on taxation matters, as “ tax uncertainty does not help the investment environment”.

Noting that the government was putting special focus on improving ease of doing business, the finance minister said foreign investments could give great additional resources and the country’s infrastructure sector needed huge investments. “ India will give better returns than many other countries.” On the second leg of his visit to Singapore and Hong Kong, he said the government was keen on early resolution of the three pending tax disputes — involving foreign giants Vodafone, Cairn and Shell — and the best way to get an expeditious disposal was being worked out.

Ahead of the monetary policy review later this month, Jaitley also made a strong case for a rate cut. He said monetary policy plays an important role in stimulating growth and said he was hopeful that the Reserve Bank of India( RBI) would act appropriately with asense of responsibility on this matter. Implementation of the Goods and Services Tax ( GST) was high on the priority list of the government, Jaitley said, expressing commitment to continuing reforms and containing the fiscal deficit.

The government was committed to meeting the fiscal deficit target and continuing on the path of economic reforms, he said during his meeting with major foreign institutional investors and companies here. For 2015- 16, the government aims to restrict the fiscal deficit to ? 5.55 lakh crore, or 3.9 per cent of GDP.

On concerns the pace of reforms has slowed, Jaitley said, “ I don’t share that perception because the government has been moving very consistently on its reforms agenda with a clear- cut direction.

There are one or two decisions that the Opposition is trying to block, but we will either push those decisions on the strength of our Parliamentary numbers or we will follow an alternative route to achieve the same objective. But then, if your own systems are strong and in order, then your ability to restore normalcy as far as optics of the economy is concerned is much better. Therefore, the sound policy is to concentrate on real economy rather than being just impacted by what external factors do to the market.” Looking to attract more overseas investors, he said Digital India and Make in India (initiatives) were designed to give special boost to manufacturing and India had huge potential in these areas.

Later, the finance minister addressed a luncheon meeting organised by Hong Kong Trade Development Council and Ficci, where he emphasised on the increasing trade and investment relationship between India and China and the important role being played by Hong Kong in this regard.

China had been a significant contributor to the global growth in the past decade.

Jaitley said India would look forward to enhancing its engagement with China and Hong Kong SAR in economic investment and trade areas, an official statement read.

Business Standard, New Delhi, 21st Sept. 2015

97909 Times Visited