Tax-Free Infra Bonds to Provide Lower Returns
Bangalore: The Indian government intends to decrease the high amount of commissions and interests paid by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), as reported by Dipak Kumar Dash and Sidhartha of the Times News Network. NHAI is on the path to issue about 60,000 crore worth of tax free-bonds.
According to sources, the Finance Ministry will soon decide upon the norms to make sure that the exchequer does not get burdened with a bigger bill and also does not lose its resources through tax sops. The decision was taken when this issue was raised by Gajendra Haldea, Advisor to Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission.
Haldea had written to the Department of Road Transport in January, mentioning that when the government was paying a very low interest rate for disinvestment, about 0.15 percent, then why should the brokerage of the order be 110 crore.
This instigated the Finance Ministry to set up an enquiry and it concluded that road construction agencies were shelling out escalated interests. This enquiry may also be extended to NHAI. When other agencies, like REC and Hudco, were issuing tax-free bonds during the last financial year, a few shortcomings of NHAI were instructed to be remedied, like - lower commission.
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