New Delhi: The US and Indian businessmen have high hopes over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US as they believe that it has the potential to unlock huge trade opportunities between the two countries.
The US business community is expected to take up the issue of the ease of doing of business in India while the Indian businessmen are expecting the Prime Minister to take up the issue of visa restrictions and social security with the US authorities.
“In India, US companies find it difficult to do business because of the cumbersome rules and regulations. US businesses will like the Modi government to ease these restrictions,”
Asoke K Laha, executive vice- president of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) told this newspaper. He said that the retrospective amendment of the Income -Tax Act to bring the Vodafone deal under the tax ambit has set a bad example and US investors will like an assurance that rules, especially on taxes are stable and are not changed mid- way.
“Prime Minister Modi’s visit is coming at an opportune time, as US investors who were investing in China, are looking at other places to invest due to the difficult situation arising there,” said Mr Laha. He noted that Mr Modi can channalise these investment towards India by telling investors how the new government is taking steps to make it easier to do business in the country.
“The Prime Minister should tell US investors to come here and do business in the country,” said Mr Laha. Indian businesses want Mr Modi to take up the issue of visa restriction with the US authorities as it makes it difficult for them to do business in that country. Indian industry’s point is that as a US company which wants to establish its enterprise here, will bring its own people, that is, expats from the US to immediately start and manage its operations as they know about the company. Similarly Indians who want to set up operations, want to take their people to the US, so visa restrictions should be eased.
Indian industry also wants early conclusion of the Totalisation Agreement with America. Under this pact an expatriate in either country need not contribute to social security schemes of the host country. Indian industry has been complaining that employees who go to the US for a short time, lose money while paying for the social security. US President Barack Obama and PM Modi are scheduled to meet at the White House on September 29 and 30.