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Modi promises predictable tax regime; Obama raises IPR issues
Reuters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today wooed US investors promising a predictable tax regime, removing "remaining uncertainties" and an open business environment as President Barack Obama pledged $4 billion in investment for trade with India.

At the same time, Obama flagged US concerns over trade barriers, intellectual property rights and sought consistency and simplicity in regulatory and tax regime for ease of doing business with India. The two leaders made forth their views clear in back-to-back meetings with top corporate leaders of both the countries at a CEOs Forum and a Business Summit.

Modi asserted that his government has removed some of the "excesses of the past" and said "we will now soon address the remaining uncertainties", an apparent reference to the retrospective taxation law of the previous government that put off global investors.

"You will find environment that is not only open, but also welcoming. We will guide you and walk with you in projects. You will find a climate that encourages investment and rewards enterprise. It will nurture innovation and protect your intellectual property.

"It will make it easy to do business.... You will find a tax regime that is predictable and competitive. We have removed some of the excesses of the past. We will now address the remaining uncertainties," Modi said at the USIBC meeting. He also promised to take charge of implementation of big projects which he would personally monitor.

"We will match your expectations... I am always available. I will listen to you." Referring to federal structure in the country, he said he would work with state governments to narrow the gap in approach between the Centre and states and address conflicts.

In his speech, Obama sought "consistency" and "simplicity" in regulatory and tax environment in India besides redressal of issues relating to intellectual property rights to significantly increase trade and business between the world's two largest democracies.

US exporters, he said, are "very concerned" about issues like IPR as the US economy was increasingly becoming a knowledge-based economy. He said "absence of an effective IP protection" in India was affecting business. "We tend to operate at the higher ends of the global value chain." .

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