US firms bullish on India after passage of bankruptcy law, says US official

Nayanima Basu | | Updated on: Jan 20, 2018

Push for Bilateral Investment Treaty

The US industry will find it “easier” to do business in India with the recent passage of the New Bankruptcy Code, coupled with American tax authorities accepting bilateral advance pricing agreements, according to Arun Kumar, Assistant Secretary for Global Markets and Director General for the US and Foreign Commercial Service.

“A lot of progress has been made on the taxation front with the signing of the Advanced Pricing Agreement (APA) but we still hear issues. But APA will help in transfer pricing issues … The bankruptcy law is going to be very helpful for the companies to expand,” Kumar told BusinessLine in an interview.

On May 12, the Rajya Sabha passed the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016, which the US believes will make it easier for American companies to do more business in India.

Certainty is key

“There are a number of issues in ease of doing business and fundamentally it is about having processes that are predictable, that have certainty, that are consistent so regulations and administrative actions that are predictable and consistent is certainly important,” Kumar added.

However, according to him a high-standard Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) will help augment big-ticket investments from US into India.

“The conversations are going on. Getting it done this year will be a significant accomplishment. It will be a good signal that India is open for investments and companies get certainty when they make investments,” he said.

Last week, India and the US held technical-level talks at the Finance Ministry on BIT. This was done in an effort to reach a conclusion before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington next month.

Kumar said US was expecting “good outcomes” from the India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD), expected to be held in July.

“We have a number of activities going on under the aegis of the S&CD. We certainly look forward to holding the dialogue in the next couple of months.

“We are working on a number of areas where we are expecting good outcome, such as smart cities, infrastructures, exchange of best practices on bankruptcy law, contract resolution, moving toward new areas of common interest and then the dialogue on harmonisation of standards,” he said.

A portal on standards is also going to be set up soon by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the American National Standards Institute.

Published on May 18, 2016
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