Millennium Post

GST will happen, retro tax thing of past: Modi

Promising easier business environment for global investors, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Riyadh on Sunday said retrospective taxation has been relegated to history, but he was “not able to do anything” on two pending cases from the previous government as “they are sub-judice.” Inviting Saudi businesses to come and invest in India in sectors like railways, defence and energy, Prime Minister Modi also said a common indirect taxation regime in form of GST (Goods and Services Tax) was “about to happen”. He, however, refrained from giving any specific time-frame.

Addressing Saudi CEOs and Indian business leaders Modi said his government has opened up various sectors to foreign investment and India stands out as a “beacon of hope” amidst global economic slowdown. “World Bank has upgraded India by 12 ranks in Ease of Doing Business. I expect in the next review, our ranking will improve further because we have made a lot of administrative reforms.

“You are worried about GST. Do not worry about GST. GST will happen. I cannot give a time-frame, but it will happen. It was our commitment, and it is about to happen,” he said. Modi added the government is in favour of long-term stable and predictable policies and any retrospective amendment to tax laws is a thing of past.

“There are two cases of the previous government, but they are sub-judice matter, so I am not able to do anything... Now, retrospective tax in India has become a thing of past. It will not happen going ahead,” said Prime Minister Modi. Although he did not specifically name the pending cases, the major retrospective tax disputes include those involving Vodafone and Cairn.

He said with huge growth potential and evolving global relations, India should have a predictable taxation system. “Retrospective tax is also a thing of the past. We have said this again and again in Parliament. Today again I am saying. If someone plans to come to India after 10 years, he should be able to predict the tax structure. So I’m in favour of a long-term predictable tax system and we have implemented it. So I don’t think that in coming days there will be any problem,” he said.
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