There will be no arbitrariness in tax matters: PM

There will be no arbitrariness in tax matters: PM

There will be no arbitrariness in tax matters: PM

 Against the backdrop of the controvery over Vodafone tax issue, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today sent out clear signals to foreign investors saying there will be "no arbitrariness" in tax matters.

"We want the world to know that India treats everyone fairly and reasonably and there will be no arbitrariness in tax matters," he told a Delhi based newspaper in an interview.

The statement assumes significance in the context of a raging controversy over the Income Tax amendment to re-open tax demands with retrospective effect from companies like Vodafone over acquisition of companies having operations in India but registered abroad to avoid taxes.

The amendment and another provision GAAR (General Anti Tax Avoidance Rules) have been blamed for the reluctance of foreign investors to invest in India.
"The India Growth Story is in tact. We will continue to work, as we have been doing for eight years, to keep the story going," he said.

Singh said he wanted to show his government would be fair and that he was keen to cut the red tape.

"We will work towards improving the response time of government to business proposals, cut down infructuous procedures and make India a more business-friendly place," he said," he said.

Singh said "it is necessary that we change the discourse from a critique of an open economy to a critique of what is needed to make an open economy work better for the welfare of the people."

The Prime Minister also called for a "political consensus" on some policies acknowledging that there are "genuine differences in opinion".

"More important is that we need political consensus in the government on some policies. These are genuine differences in opinion. So, in a democracy, consensus building is the key to long-term economic success and we are steadily moving ahead in doing that," he said.

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