Investors must pay taxes on money earned in India: FM

PTI New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on May 15, 2016

Washington: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley shakes hands with Ambassador Michael Froman, US Trade Representative on the sidelines of 2016 Spring Summit of World Bank/International Monetary Fund in Washington DC on Wednesday. PTI Photo (PTI4_14_2016_000110B)   -  PTI

With a revised Mauritius pact in place to check round-tripping, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said investors must pay taxes on money earned in India and ruled out any depletion of FDI due to imposition of capital gains tax on investments through the island nation.

He asserted that India no longer needs any “tax-incentivised route” to attract foreign investments as India economy is now “strong enough” and said there was no .

“serious apprehension” of investors shifting base to other tax havens due to the re-drawing of the decades-old tax treaty with Mauritius —— the biggest source of foreign investments into India.

By checking round-tripping of funds, the amendment would help boost domestic consumption, Jaitley added.

After toiling for almost a decade to redraw the tax treaty with Mauritius, India will begin imposing capital gains tax on investments in shares through Mauritius from April next onwards. This has been made possible with amendment to the 34-year-old tax treaty between the two countries.

As markets reacted cautiously to India expanding its crackdown on tax treaties to make it harder for investors to use tax havens as a shelter to avoid levies, Jaitley told PTI, “Eventually markets have to operate on inherent strength of the (Indian) economy.”

Strong economy

Stating that the Mauritius tax treaty created a “tax-incentivised route” at a time when India was looking at foreign investments to boost economy, he said the economy has become strong enough and “now those who earn must pay taxes“.

The original treaty, signed almost a decade before India opened up its economy in 1991, has helped channelise more than a third of the $ 278 billion (nearly Rs 19 lakh crore) foreign direct investment India received in the past 15 years.

The imposition of taxes has been “done in a phased manner to avoid shock and I don’t expect any depletion to FDI because of this. Also eventually, markets have to operate on inherent strength of economy”, he said.

The redrawn Mauritius treaty will trigger a similar amendment in India’s tax treaty with Singapore. Mauritius and Singapore accounted for $ 17 billion of the total $ 29.4 billion India received in FDI during April-December 2015.

India had in August 1982 signed the treaty with Mauritius to eliminate double taxation of income and capital gains to encourage mutual trade and investment.

Published on May 15, 2016
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