Future Outlook for India’s IT Sector

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Mar. 6 – Up until the crux of the Global Financial Crisis, India’s information technology (IT) sector was consistently one of the country’s strongest performers. Though augmentation rates shrank, the falling rupee provided a cushion. Therefore, the CNXIT index constantly outperformed the broader market and in fact, the IT sector was the only one to see capital gains.

In 2009-10, however, things began to change and other industries outperformed India’s celebrated IT sector. What is more, as the rupee strengthened, the IT industry’s growth rates became feebler. Last year too, the IT industry registered lower growth rates than usual and the advisories have been very watchful.

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Reporting Activities of Liaison Offices in India

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Mar. 5 – Overseas companies, organizations or an association of individuals are not required to file income returns with regards to liaison offices (LOs) on the grounds that such business is not permitted to be carried out in India. In order to question the basic information of non-resident entities with respect to the kind of activities conducted by their liaison offices, the Indian Government initiated Section 285 to the Income Tax Act in the Union Budget 2011. As per this section, non-resident entities having liaison offices in India are obligated to submit a prescribed annual statement to the tax authorities in respect to their activities within 60 days from the end of the financial year.

This particular section (Section 285) was made effective from June 1, 2011, but the form was not notified by the board. As such, the CBDT has recently notified the form by introducing Rule 114DA and Form No. 49C to the Income Tax Rules (1962). The yearly statement shall be duly verified by the Chartered Accountant or the Authorized Signatory of the non-resident entity. Additionally, according to the rule, the yearly statement in Form 49C shall be furnished in electronic form along with a digital signature. The rules and form shall come into force from April 1, 2012.

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Simplification of Business Visas for Indians from Italy

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Mar. 1 – India and Italy this week discussed each other’s business visa management and the simplification of the application process for citizens of both nations. The two countries wish to streamline the business visa process in order to provide their nationals with easier access to both markets.

India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Italy’s Foreign Ministry are serious about making an effective business visa regime for businessmen and professionals. The Italian Foreign Minister is currently on a visit to India at the head of a business delegation mainly representing the construction sector.

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