Tax pact uncertainties hitting India, Mauritius alike: FSC
Sep 15 2013 , Mauritius
New investors are not exploring investment opportunities offered by Mauritius as a gateway to India, which has traditionally been a preferred route for such investments, due to tax pact related concerns, Mauritius' Financial Services Commission (FSC) Chief Executive Clairette Ah-Hen said.
A revision of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Mauritius has been delayed due to differences over issues like capital gains.
There are concerns on the Indian side that the treaty is being misused for tax avoidance and alleged round-tripping of funds, but the island nation has been maintaining that strict measures are in place to curb any such abuse of the pact.
"Because of this uncertainty (over tax treaty issues), both India side and Mauritius side are losing, as we could have otherwise got the momentum. The funds would have been flowing.
"But now you have a situation where investors wait and watch. So they (investors) will look for alternatives... That is where time is important (for revising the pact)," Ah-Hen told PTI in an interview here.
Set up in 2001, FSC is the integrated regulator for all non-banking financial services and global business sectors in Mauritius, which has been a major route for foreign investments coming into India. However, the flow of funds from Mauritius has taken a hit in the recent past.
Emphasising that it is a "question of managing perception", she said that the current scenario is probably not helping new businesses which would have otherwise explored Mauritius for opportunities.
"I think those who have built some sort of long-term relationships, they know that there is no point in going away and looking elsewhere. But, if you look at the sectors and opportunities that come in terms of investments, those who are not long established, it is an issue.
"What we are finding is that probably it is not helping new businesses who would like to have opportunities (in Mauritius)," Ah-Hen said.