Lok Sabha passes Finance Bill 2015

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha passed the Finance Bill, 2015 by a voice vote on Thursday.

As many as 41 amendments moved by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley were passed, including for tax relief to foreign investors with income from securities transactions, royalties and technical service exempted from the contentious minimum alternative tax (MAT).

The tax, which continues to be effective retrospectively on foreign institutional investors (FIIs), who are fighting it in court, will not apply to sale of units of real estate investment trusts (REITs), Jaitley said replying to the debate in the Lok Sabha on the Finance Bill 2015, which contains the government's tax proposals for the current fiscal.

MAT will also not be applicable on earnings from royalties and technology fees, he added.

Incomes earned by foreign companies on investments in government and other fixed income securities will not be covered under MAT provisions.

Jaitley also relaxed conditions stipulated in the Finance Bill for foreign fund managers to relocate to India without having to face adverse tax consequences.

He said that certain conditions will not apply in the case of sovereign wealth funds and offshore funds floated by foreign governments.

Jaitley also cut the export duty on some grades of iron ore from 30 percent to 10 percent, and raised the basic customs duty on natural rubber.

Moreover, he reduced the basic customs duty on raw silk to 15 percent.

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