Stating that General Electric group (GE) was looking at 15-20 per cent growth on sustainable basis from India business, GE chairman and global CEO, Jeffrey Immelt said the recent controversy over transfer pricing and issues of retrospective taxation was a cause of bother for the foreign investors.
"If you put yourself in the shoes of US and European CEO, the viewpoint has been negative. It concerns the people. The transfer pricing and other such issues bother the foreign investors. But I see some signs of corrections with a very positive Finance Minister in form of P. Chidambaram. The last three months have been better than early months of 2012. Mr. Chidambaram is well-known and quite well-respected and his appointment was a positive," he told journalists at a select roundtable held in Delhi.
Mr. Immelt said transparency and stability are the key to a good tax regime. The recent reforms unleashed by the government are step in the right direction. "I think infrastructure should be the focus as it creates jobs and leads to investments," he added.
Mr. Immelt said he expects his company’s India business to grow between 15-20 per cent on a sustainable basis. At present GE is exporting over $1 billion in products and services from India. Globally, GE had posted USD 147.3 billion revenue in 2012. The company's portfolio in India includes power, oil and gas, transportation, healthcare and aviation.
"Power business is in a hamstring now. Though companies are looking at importing LNG, but gas and coal are issues, they will be addressed in a few years," said John Flannery, president and CEO GE India. Power sector is a key business for GE India, he added.
GE, which has supplied nuclear reactors at Tarapore Atomic station feels that Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, in March 2011, and availability of cheaper gas in the US has impacted nuke power business worldwide. "Nuclear industry has been impacted by two things, Fukushima disaster and $2 price of cheap gas in the US. These things have had an impact everywhere, including India," Mr. Immelt added.
GE India's manufacturing facility will come up near Pune by the end of this year. At present, the company employs 14,000 people in India.