Budget 2020: FM Proposes 100% Exemption For Foreign Sovereign Funds In Priority Infra

Union Budget

FM Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday proposed for 100% tax exemption for foreign sovereign funds in priority infra to encourage foreign spending in India

Written By Misha Bhatt | Mumbai | Updated On:
Union budget 2020

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech on Saturday announced incentives to encourage foreign spending in India.

Announcing the incentives to foreign sovereign funds, the Finance Minister said, "In order to incentivise investment by foreign government in priority sector, I propose to grant 100% tax exemption to their interest, dividend, and capital gain income in respect of investments made in infrastructure and other notified sectors before 31 march 2024 with the minimum lock-in period of three years." 

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What are Sovereign Funds?

Sovereign Fund is a state-owned investment fund that invests in real and financial assets such as stocks, bonds, real estate, precious metals, or in alternative investments such as private equity funds or hedge funds. The sovereign funds are invested globally. Most SWFs are funded by revenues from commodity exports or foreign-exchange reserves held by the central bank. 

READ | Union Budget 2020: FM announces Rs 102 lakh infrastructure boost, national logistics policy

FM Announces Rs 102 Lakh Infrasture Boost

The Finance Minister in her budget announced a plan to boost the infrastructure of India. Some of the key announcements relating to infrastructure are:

  • National Skill Development India will focus on training for these projects and a facility will be set up for Infrastructure projects - involving young engineers, management graduates, and economists from our universities. 
  • Government agencies are directed to involve startups in providing quality infrastructure products. 
  • National logistics policy will soon be released, clarifying the role of Centre, state and regulators with a single-window e-logistics market and focus on generating employment in MSMEs.
  • Accelerated development of Highways will be undertaken including 2500 km of access-controlled highways, 9000 km of the economic corridor, 2000 km of coastal and manned port roads and 2000 km of strategic highways.
  • Fast track highways will help commercialize NHAI with a proposal to monetize 12 lots of highway bundles of 6000 km before 2024.

READ | Budget 2020: Govt to set up archaeological, maritime & tribal museums; picks 5 iconic sites

Union Budget 2020

This year's Budget assumes tremendous significance as the Indian economy is facing multiple challenges such as a rise in inflation, unemployment, farmer distress, and a dip in GDP growth. The government has taken inputs from multiple stakeholders. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has also announced a series of reform measures in the last few months to give a boost to the economy.

In the Economic Survey 2019-20 tabled on the floor of the Parliament on Friday, the GDP growth for the next fiscal year has been pegged at 6-6.5 per cent. This is much more than the IMF estimate. 

READ | Budget 2020: 'Doubling farmer income' imperative gets a 16-point plan, Rs 2.83 Tn allocation

READ | Union Budget 2020: Rs 22,000 cr outlay for power, the renewable energy sector in FY21, says FM

By 2030, 40% Indians will not have access to drinking water