NEW DELHI: Fear of retrospective taxation “hangs like a Damocles’ Sword” over the head of foreign firms doing business in India, global tech giant Microsoft said on Wednesday at the ‘Accelerating Indo-US Trade’ conference.
Highlighting their concerns, top officials of the three global giants — Microsoft, GE and Lockheed Martin — were unanimous at a conference in the national capital seeking predictability in taxation rules to encourage investments in the country.
GE and Lockheed Martin also called for removing inefficiencies in government tendering procedures and bidding processes, while Microsoft said there was a need to overcome “trust deficit” over data security issues in India.
“Tax hangs like a Damocles’ sword over our head and I’m not terribly sure whether it’s only American companies but I guess it’s every company in this country. That Damocles’ sword is that suddenly rules change and is retrospective,” Microsoft India chairman Bhaskar Pramanik.
Expressing similar sentiment, GE South Asia President & CEO Banmali Agrawala said taxation remains an issue for foreign companies, particularly American firms that “need comfort” from the Indian government.
Lockheed Martin India chief executive Phil Shaw also said that the challenges that they see in India include those relating to the country’s taxation regime.