Ghost of GAAR buried: Chidambaram

Chidambaram

India has buried the "ghost" of GAAR, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said today asserting that there is no threat of a rating downgrade in view of key economic decisions like allowing FDI in multi-brand retail and hiking fuel prices.

He said there is revival of investor interest in India as a result of a number of measures taken by the government since September.

Chidambaram was also hopeful that fiscal deficit will be contained within the targeted 5.3 per cent of the GDP this fiscal and trimmed to 4.8 per cent in the next. Growth is likely to climb to 6-7 per cent from 5.7 per cent expected in the current year, he said.

"There is universal acknowledgment that we have handled the GAAR situation fairly effectively and buried the ghost that GAAR will be some kind of a monster," he said in an interview.

Here on a day's visit for an investor conference, the Finance Minister said as expected investors raised issues relating to the controversial provision of GAAR that was introduced in the 2012-13 Budget by his predecessor.

The General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) gave unbridled powers to taxmen to check evasion of taxes by foreign investors that created huge apprehensions among investors. Last week, Chidambaram announced that GAAR implementation has been postponed by two years to 2016.

"On specific questions on GAAR and I took some time in explaining all the measures we have made to GAAR and told them how market has received it very well here. There is universal acknowledgement that we have handled the GAAR situation fairly effectively and buried the ghost that GAAR will be some kind of a monster," he said.

Kicking off his campaign to woo investment, Chidambaram met over 200 top investors at the "India for Investment Conference" organised by the Citibank and BNP Paribas.

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