‘Friendly tax regime, GST will make doing business easier’

Mumbai, Feb 16 (IANS) A tax regime receptive to the needs of foreign investors and the passage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill can work wonders for the Make in India initiative, said experts on Tuesday.

“GST will improve ease of doing business in India in one single stroke. It will integrate seven central levies and eight state levies into one,” said Surabhi Sinha, member of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), at a session on finance and taxation at the Make in India Week here,

“The cost of production will come down leading to more generation and production, thereby reducing prices of products, hence driving demand,” said B.K.Bansal, said member of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), regarding the GST Bill that is stalled in the Rajya Sabha where the ruling NDA lacks majority.

“The tax regime is receptive to the needs of the foreign investors. A lot of efforts are being made and we will see a much better situation by 2018,” said Ketan Dalal, partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) India.

Meanwhile, global telecom giant Vodafone on Tuesday took exception to the Indian tax department threatening to seize its assets if it fails to pay a disputed demand of over Rs.14,000 crore, which is still under international arbitration.

The dispute relates to Vodafone’s $11 billion acquisition of a 67 percent share in the mobile phone business of Hutchison Whampoa. Vodafone maintains it is not liable to pay India’s tax department since the transaction was conducted offshore, while authorities have said the deal involved company assets in this country.

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