The Lok Sabha on 30 April 2015 gave its nod for the Finance Bill, 2015 through voice vote. The bill deals with the income side (basically tax proposals) of the Union Government for the financial year 2015-16 as proposed in the budget which was introduced in the Parliament on 28 February 2015.
The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha, the sole authority in taxation matters, after the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley moved as many as 41 official amendments which among others include:
• Promoters of foreign real estate investment trusts were exempted from paying Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) on the notional gains arising from shares of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to a business trust in exchange of units allotted by that trust.
• Foreign companies including Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) are exempted from paying MAT on any interest, royalty or fees for technical services including incomes earned on investments in Government and other fixed income securities.
• Diluted tax proposals applicable to sovereign wealth funds which plan to relocate to India, in case they are floated by foreign government.
The above amendments are intended to attract much needed foreign capital to sustain the growth momentum and reach double digit Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth target in the years to come, as envisaged by the 2015-16 budget.
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