Indian tax laws matter of investor concern: Saudi minister

New Delhi : Saudi investors are concerned about capital gains and other taxation issues in India, the Gulf kingdom’s industry minister said Thursday urging Indian authorities to explore possibilities of easing the regulation.

“The issue of taxation of capital gains continues to be major impediment in promoting Saudi investment in India, and I call on the Indian authorities to explore relaxation of this issue,” Saudi Arabia Commerce and Industry Minister Tawfig Fawzan Alrabiah said while addressing a India-Saudi Arabia Business Forum meeting here.

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The minister pointed out that the two countries have taken a number of steps to promote bilateral investments, but taxation issue remain one of the major hurdles. “We are aware that a series of steps are being undertaken to attract Saudi investment into India.”

The forum meeting was organised jointly by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Council of Saudi Chambers.

Alrabiah also urged Indian companies to enhance investments in Saudi Arabia, claiming that the Gulf kingdom offered excellent business environment and a favourable taxation regime.

Addressing the forum meeting, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Economy and Planning Mohammed Al-Jasser invited Indian investments in Saudi Arabia’ mining sector which remain relatively undeveloped.

“There are immense prospects for investments in phosphate and bauxite mining,” Al-Jasser said.

“We are committed to develop a world-class rail-road network and logistics for transportation of materials to seaports and factories. This should be of attraction to Indian investors,” the minister said.

FICCI president Sidharth Birla emphasised on the need for higher Saudi investments in India, especially in the projects along the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC).

“There is a blue-print for expansion of manufacturing with emphasis on exports. Saudi Arabia, we feel, can be an effective partner for this vision and India can be a very attractive location for Saudi Arabia to export from,” Birla said.

Birla said India’s new National Manufacturing Policy aims to increase share of manufacturing in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) 25 percent by 2022 from the current around 16 percent, that would require huge foreign investments from the countries like Saudi Arabia.