The Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, will today meet his American counterpart Mr Timothy Geithner, who is expected to raise concerns of the US corporate sector over doing business in India.
The meeting, on the sidelines of the annual spring session of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, will happen within a couple days of about a dozen US industry associations writing to the US Treasury Secretary to take up the controversial move by India to amend the Income Tax Act with retrospective effect.
They have raised concerns over the impact of Mr Mukherjee’s Budget proposal to amend the IT Act with retrospective effect to bring into the tax net Vodafone-type merger and acquisition deals involving assets in India.
The UK-based Vodafone, which in 2007 bought Hong Kong-based Hutchison’s telecom business that included Indian assets for around $11 billion, has attracted tax of Rs 11,000 crore.
Mr Mukherjee, on his part, is expected to raise several bilateral issues.
On his arrival from New York late in the afternoon on Wednesday, Mr Mukherjee held a series of meetings with his officials and Indian diplomats in Washington in preparation of the meeting.
Mr Mukherjee is scheduled to kick-off official engagements with a bilateral with the South Korea Foreign Minister, following which he would drive down to the Treasury Department to meet Mr Geithner.
He is also scheduled to attend the Finance Ministers’ meetings of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries.
Besides, Mr Mukherjee will chair a meeting of the G-24 countries.
Later, he will speak on the ‘Global Economy and Framework’ in the first session of G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meeting. India and Canada are co-chairing the working group on global framework.
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