Skip to main content

Top British financial daily: Businesses are beginning to grumble in India

By Our Representative
The powerful British business daily, “Financial Times” (FT) has noted that though Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in office for nearly a year, “businesses are beginning to grumble” about his “limited progress, especially in bugbear areas such as tax.”
The top daily, in an article titled “Cairn’s woes turn spotlight on India business environment” (March 17), has said that this is one major reason why last week UK-based Cairn Energy “reacted angrily to an unexpected new $1.6bn tax demand from New Delhi.”
FT said, “Cairn’s woes attracted particular attention given Modi’s earlier promises to ease off targeting multinationals over tax.”
Suggesting there was nothing unexpected about Cairn’s objection, FT said, “The day-to-day business of dealing with inspectors remains as painful as ever.”
It quoted Anupam Jindal, chief financial officer of Sterlite Technologies, a telecoms equipment exporter based in the western industrial city of Aurangabad, as saying, “Real change in the taxation system is yet to be seen.”
Pointing out that “India’s problems are far wider”, FT said, “It limped in 142nd out of 189 economies ranked by the World Bank for ease of doing business last year — one spot above the West Bank and Gaza and well behind rivals in the Brics group of emerging economies.”
“In some areas, such as contract enforcement or construction permits, India places much closer to the bottom”, it added.
Further recalling how last month Deepak Parekh, chairman of housing finance group HDFC, reacted, calling him “one of India's most respected corporate leaders”, FT said, “Parekh made headlines by noting a growing impatience creeping in” from businesses who had seen little change on the ground”.
The daily said, “That view is largely shared by Tarang Jain, the owner of Varroc, an auto component exporter also based in Aurangabad.”
Suggesting that foreign investors “will choose to set up in India cautiously and slowly, anxious over potential pitfalls”, the daily said, “Others will instead look at more welcoming countries, especially in areas such as labour-intensive manufacturing, where Indian rules are particularly unhelpful.”
The daily commented, “Fixing India’s ease of doing business problems, say many analysts, requires more comprehensive remedies ranging from labour and energy market deregulation to wider changes to the culture of its taxation system.”
According to the daily, “Jerry Seinfeld became the latest in a long line of foreign visitors to discover that India is a tough place in which to do business, as the US comedian’s plans for two stadium shows in Mumbai at the weekend suffered last-minute cancellations following a snarl-up over permits.”
“The wisecracking comic stayed silent in the aftermath, leaving his local business partner Vijay Nair to explain to thousands of disappointed fans that a tortuous back-and-forth over parking spaces had prompted police to withdraw their licence, with grim financial consequences”, it added.
“Such high-profile bureaucratic troubles are no laughing matter for India’s image as an investment destination”, the daily concludes.

Comments

TRENDING

Telangana govt proposes to give unfettered powers to forest officials, 'help' corporates

By Dr Palla Trinadha Rao*
The Telangana Government is contemplating to replace the Telangana Forest Act 1967 with a new law - the Telangana Forest Act (TFA) 2019, trampling the rights of adivasis ensured under the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA Act 2006) and Panchayats Extension to Schedule Area (PESA) Act 1996 both of which are central acts.

RSS, Hindu Mahasabha were 'subservient' to British masters: Nagpur varsity VC told

Counterview Desk
Well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam, associate professor (retired), University of Delhi, in an open letter to the vice-chancellor of the Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Dr Siddharthavinayaka P Kane, has taken strong exception to the varsity decision to include RSS’ “role” in nation building in the syllabus of the BA (history) course, citing instances to say that the RSS ever since its birth in 1925 with its Hindutva allies like Hindu Mahasabha led by VD Savarkar worked overtime to “betray the glorious anti-colonial freedom struggle”.

British companies export 'deadly' asbestos to India, other countries from offshore offices

By Rajiv Shah
“The Sunday Times”, which forms part of the powerful British daily, “The Times”, has raised the alarm that though the “deadly” asbestos is banned in Britain, companies registered in United Kingdom, and operating from other countries, “are involved in shipping it to developing nations”, especially India. India, Brazil, Russia and China account for almost 80% of the asbestos consumed globally every year, it adds.

One lakh schools closed down, draft policy 'seeks' commercialisation: Whither RTE?

By Our Representative
A national consultation on the new draft National Education Policy (NEP) with senior experts, teachers’ association representatives and other stakeholders at the India International Centre in New Delhi on July 11, organised by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, has expressed serious concern over curtailment in the budgeted expenditure on education year after year, even as closure of more than one lakh schools over the "last few years."

Lynching as state terror? Complete dearth of 'political will' to deal with mob violence

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
On Friday July 5, thousands of people had gathered at a rally in Surat to protest against the growing mob lynching incidents in different parts of the country. There are different interpretations at what happened during the rally: with police blaming the rallyists and those in the rally blaming the police for using teargas shells upon them without any reason.

Mental health: India's 95% patients "deprived" of medical care, treatment gap 70%

By Moin Qazi*
Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis. Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb. An estimated 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million from anxiety disorders. For those who suffer from mental illness, life can seem like a terrible prison from which there is no hope of escape; they are left forlorn and abandoned, stigmatized, shunned and misunderstood.

Gender budgeting? Govt of India allocates just 2.1%, 0.73% for SC, ST women

By Rajiv Shah
The National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), one of the most influential all-India Dalit rights networks, has taken strong exception to the manner in which the Government of India has undermined Gender Responsive Budgeting in the Union Budget 2019-20 for scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs), pointing towards “wide gaps” between the goals and the situational reality of “the Dalit and Adivasi women on the ground.”

Universal healthcare? India lacks provisions to 'fight' non-communicable diseases

By Moin Qazi*
Universal health coverage (UHC) -- ensuring that all people receive proper and adequate health care without suffering financial hardship -- is an integral part of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It enables countries to make the most of their strongest asset: human capital.

Beijing-based infrastructure bank 'funding' India's environmentally risky projects

By Our Representative
A new civil society note has questioned the operations of the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral development bank that aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region, seeking to fund projects in India through the Government of India’s National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF), calling it “a risky venture”.

UN report notes 'suppression' of Kashmiri independence groups in Pakistan

By Our Representative
A top United Nations (UN) body has suggested that the intense fervour of Kashmiri nationalism isn’t just sweeping the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) state but is equally strong in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), pointing towards how the Pak authorities have been seeking to suppress it by placing restrictions on rights to freedoms of expression and opinion, assembly and association on every section of PoK’s population.