August 9, 2019 / 2:28 PM / a month ago

Nirmala Sitharaman silent on higher taxes for foreign investors, sources say

FILE PHOTO: India's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman arrives to present the 2019 budget in Parliament, New Delhi, India July 5, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/File Photo

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gave no indication at a meeting with foreign portfolio investors on Friday that she would withdraw a proposal to raise their taxes, some of the investors said.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unnerved many foreign investors with the tax increases in her proposed budget, which parliament ratified last month. Investors in turn pulled $1.8 billion out of Indian equities in July alone.

The government was considering an exemption for foreign investors from the tax increase, which would be imposed on those on those earning more than 20 million rupees ($282,925.45) a year, sources told Reuters on Thursday.

But at the meeting with foreign investors, Sitharaman “only heard us and did not speak,” according to two foreign portfolio investors who attended the meeting.

The meeting was attended by about 18 global investment banks, among them Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered and J.P Morgan.

Reporting by Manoj Kumar; writing by Aftab Ahmed; editing by Larry King

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