India scraps disputed dredging tax
The Indian government has agreed to scrap a controversial tax on activities by foreign dredging companies. This was confirmed by the Indian Industry Minister Anand Sharma during a meeting with Minister-President Kris Peeters CD&V of the government of Flanders. The latter addressed the issue on behalf of the Belgian dredging companies Jan De Nul and Deme, which take part in the Flemish trade mission to India. According to Peeters, “he also spoke on behalf of a number of Dutch dredging companies”. The ‘surtax on foreign dredgers’ was introduced six months ago. “In practice it translates as a tax which can run up to 9%, making it difficult for our dredging companies to operate here,” says Peeters. Indian dredging companies, which are not subject to this tax, enjoy also further tax exemptions. These advantages allow them to submit lower tenders for this kind of public contracts.