U.S. Stresses Need For Transparency In Indian Taxation Policies

NEW DELHI: The U.S. expressed concern over "discouraging investment" environment in India and stressed the need for transparency in Indian taxation policies, timely regulatory approvals and contract enforcement for better business ties. Visiting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal said, "We are addressing these concerns head-on as good partners do... Again, the solution is to talk and trade," in an apparent bid to put behind the differences that cropped up in wake of the Khobragade episode. The arrest of senior Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade in New York on December 12 on visa fraud charges creating strain in Indo-U.S. ties.

Addressing a gathering here, Biswal said, "We are concerned that domestic content requirements here are discouraging investment into India, inhibiting innovation and holding India back from developing the world-class manufacturing sector it needs to compete and generate jobs..." "Equally important is the need for transparency in India's tax policies, timely regulatory approvals and contract enforcement, and a commitment to strengthening protection of intellectual property rights," she added. The remarks by the U.S. official came days after U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), a quasi-judicial federal American agency, alleged that New Delhi's trade and investments rules, particularly intellectual property laws, discriminate against U.S. companies. Last month, it had conducted a hearing in connection with its investigation, 'Trade, Investment, and Industrial Policies in India: Effects on the U.S. Economy'.

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Source: PTI