Global Tax Heads Convene for Dialogue on Multilateral Issues
February 25, 2014 – New Delhi – The U.S.-India Business Council concluded a high-profile mission comprised of top tax executives from global multinationals who engaged in a dialogue with senior officials from the Government of India as well as private sector counterparts to improve India's tax climate for foreign investment. The prestigious group featured the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)'s Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) official Taxation Bureau. BIAC, the voice of business of the OECD, serves as an industry conduit for the international government body of developing countries which sets global norms for tax and transfer pricing.
The USIBC executives met on behalf of global industry with top officials in the Ministry of Finance, including Central Board of Direct Taxes member RK Tewari, Competent Authority Joint Secretary Akhilesh Ranjan, and Chairman of India's Tax Administration Reform Commission Dr. Parthasarathi Shome. In addition, they met with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to discuss
macroeconomic issues, as well as with senior representatives of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The discussions on the OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) proposal were especially timely given the concurrent G20 discussions in Australia in which Finance Minister Chidambaram participated.
The program's capstone was the inaugural USIBC International Tax Symposium, where CFOs and tax leaders from domestic and global business in India met with the delegation to share insights and develop a constructive strategy of collaboration. The event, hosted by KPMG LLP's Rishi Chugh, Partner in-charge of the U.S.-India Practice, covered domestic tax, advance pricing agreements (APAs), transfer pricing, and dispute resolution issues.
The global delegation, which included the tax heads of General Electric, Genpact, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Microsoft, Shell, Siemens, and Unilever, among others, is part of a continued strategy of engagement by USIBC to increase constructive dialogue on multilateral tax issues facing foreign investors in India.
The head of the delegation, Will Morris, Chair of the BIAC Committee on Taxation and Fiscal Policy, and Director of Global Tax Policy at General Electric (GE), said, "India is by far one of the most important investment destinations for all of our companies. Our experience is that an open and constructive dialogue between the global investment community, Government of India, and Indian industry partners will be the only way forward in alleviating current tax challenges. We think it a positive development that India, as a key player in the G20, is fully engaged in the G20/OECD BEPS project which holds the prospect of more uniform international tax rules." He continued, "As a major global economic power, it is imperative to the global tax system that India's tax laws and administration are in harmony with international norms. These discussions have been a very productive first step for BIAC to engage with India on OECD tax issues and we're grateful to our Ministry of Finance hosts."
Formed in 1975 at the request of the U.S. and Indian governments, the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) is the premier business advocacy organization advancing U.S.-India commercial ties. Today, USIBC is the largest bilateral trade association in the United States, headquartered in Washington, DC, with liaison presence in New York, Silicon Valley, and New Delhi, comprised of more than 350 of the top-tier U.S. and Indian companies. Ajay Banga, President & CEO of MasterCard, is USIBC's chairman.