The US-India Strategic Partnership Forum Hosts Dialogue with Union Minister Pradhan and U.S. Energy Secretary Brouillette

February 24, 2020

Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Dharmendra and U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette Reaffirm the U.S.-India Strategic Energy Partnership on the Side lines of President Donald Trump’s Visit to India

The US-India Strategic Partnership Forum Hosts Dialogue with Union Minister Pradhan and U.S. Energy Secretary Brouillette

New Delhi – Today, US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) convened a round table with Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan, and U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette along with senior industry executives to mark President Donald J. Trump’s maiden visit to India.

Both sides reviewed the progress of the U.S-India Strategic Energy Partnership and emphasized the centrality of industry in expanding energy access and security between our economies. Energy related trade between the countries touched $8 billion in 2019 and is expected to increase by 20 percent in 2020. The USISPF gathering discussed how metallurgical coal and bioethanol will become part of U.S.-India energy trade. As India plans a cleaner and greener economy, Minister Pradhan discussed his intention of additional cooperation with U.S. energy labs on areas such as carbon capture, clean coal technologies, battery storage and large-scale grid integration of renewable energy. Xcoal Energy & Resources Managing Director for India, Sujogya Kumar Dash said, “Xcoal is excited about partnering in Indian steel industry’s growth to 300 million tonnes by 2030. As the largest exporter of coal from the US, Xcoal believes that the US will be an extremely reliable source of metallurgical coal essential for enabling India to meet its target for steel.”

U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said, “It is an honor to be here in India with President Trump to deepen our strong bilateral relationship, particularly in the energy sector. Today’s roundtable hosted by U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) provided a unique opportunity for Minister Pradhan and I to hear directly from our private sector partners from both nations and discuss future opportunities for commercial partnerships in the energy sector. Under the Trump Administration, the United States and India have significantly elevated our cooperation in energy, which has opened a range of opportunities for enhanced oil and gas trade and development, deploying renewable energy technologies, strengthening and modernizing our power infrastructure, enhancing energy efficiency, advancing coal plant efficiency, and growing our civil nuclear cooperation. We have made great progress since the Strategic Energy Partnership was launched in 2018, and I believe the best is yet to come.”

Prior to the industry discussion, the Minister and the Secretary presided over the signing of a Letter of Cooperation between ExxonMobil India LNG Limited (Chart Energy & Chemicals, Inc) and Indian Oil Corporation Limited to establish a system of transportation infrastructure to expand gas access in India.

USISPF President and CEO Dr. Mukesh Aghi said, “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump, the energy partnership has become a bedrock of the bilateral relationship and will have a key role in achieving the government of India’s goal of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2024.”

Contact: 

Sukanya Sen
[email protected]
240-899-4028 

USISPF sets the stage for strategic and business dialogue for President Donald J. Trump’s Visit to India

February 23, 2020

Includes launch of the first ever US-India Tax Forum, series of strategic energy engagements & discussions on next steps on Indo-Pacific partnership

New Delhi— As President Trump lands in India on February 24th, the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) will launch the US-India Tax Forum, an initiative designed for industry and government to engage on global and local tax policy. The USISPF Tax Forum will bring over 50 tax experts from Fortune 500 companies together with senior officials from Ministry of Finance, Central Board Direct Tax (CBDT), GST Council and Customs Board Indirect Tax & Customs (CBIC). The Forum will meet on a regular basis with the government to share feedback on tax policy transparency and efficiency. It will also work with the government to ensure tax policy harmonization between multilateral and unilateral tax treaties.

On Feb 25th, USISPF together with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Observer Research Foundation (ORF) will also convene the U.S.-India Forum — a gathering of eminent current and former government of India and U.S. government officials, and private sector leaders to discuss the next steps in growing U.S.-India trade and investment relations, defense ties, Indo-Pacific strategy, and the enormous technology transitions and trends in the coming decade.

USISPF President and Chief Executive Office Dr. Mukesh Aghi said “President Trump’s visit will undoubtedly strengthen the commercial and strategic between the world’s oldest and largest democracy. Bilateral trade has gone up 12% to $160 billion 2019, indicating the strength of the commercial partnership. On the strategic side, US now conducts maximum number of military exercises with India, including Operation Malabar, which has increased in its scope and complexity over the years”.

“USISPF looks forward to celebrating the burgeoning multifaceted partnership between the United States and India” said Aghi.

About the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF):

The U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum is committed to creating the most powerful strategic partnership between the U.S. and India. Promoting bilateral trade is an important part of our work, but our mission reaches far beyond this. It is about business and government coming together in new ways to create meaningful opportunities that have the power to change the lives of citizens.

Contact: 

Sukanya Sen
[email protected]
240-899-4028 

US-India Strategic Partnership Forum Statement on Union Budget 2020

Saturday, February 1, 2020

USISPF President and CEO, Mukesh Aghi released the following statement on the Union Budget 2020 that was unveiled by the Ministry of Finance:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – USISPF President and CEO, Mukesh Aghi released the following statement on the Union Budget 2020 that was unveiled by the Ministry of Finance: 

“USISPF is pleased to see a focus on inclusive growth, aspirational India, ease of living for all citizens, and digital technologies for economic growth in the 2020 Union Budget. However, we believe the budget could have gone further to liberalize sectors such as insurance that are in need capital. Despite a slowdown in growth, the global outlook for investment in India remains strong and therefore the budget was a great opportunity to convert the global sentiment into action.”

“On corporate taxation, we are particularly pleased to see the elimination of the dividend distribution tax. Deferring the significant economic presence rules is an applaudable effort to align India’s digital taxation policy with global norms. “On ease of doing business, measures such as simplified GST returns, no audit requirement for MSMEs with up to INR 5Cr turnover, instant issuance of PAN by furnishing Aadhaar, pre-filing of tax returns, faceless appeals and assessments will further enhance India’s image from an ease of doing business perspective. Together, these steps show that India’s tax policy is moving in the right direction.”

“Directionally, we see provisions such as creation of an “Investment Clearance Cell” to facilitate investment advisory and continued focus on smart cities projects and electronics manufacturing playing an important role in growing the Indian economy and creating much-needed jobs. As a USISPF hi-tech manufacturing report has indicated, India’s hi-tech manufacturing sector has the potential to offer an additional investment of USD 21 billion and create 550,000 direct jobs and 1,400,000 indirect jobs over the next 5 years.”

“However, we urge the government to move away from further tariffs on ICT products in the budget. It is important for government to continue to improvise its Make in India program. Global companies are looking for alternative sites in Asia and India is uniquely placed to be that destination.”

“We are also encouraged that the government is taking measures to boost infrastructure spending, creating a national logistics policy, and modernizing India’s connectivity. Improving India’s logistics and infrastructure build-out is one area where American companies can contribute significantly.”

“We are encouraged to see a focus on digital infrastructure that will enable private sector to build data center parks throughout the country as well as public funding for the Bharatnet program. The government’s attempts to bolster public consumption through tax holidays on the profit earned on affordable housing projects, optional tax relief to middle income tax payers, rationalizing the tax rates and increasing the disposable income in the hands of the middle class are welcome moves.”

“Startups continue to be the engines of growth for the Indian economy— deferring the tax payment on ESOP granted to employees; and increasing the revenue threshold to INR 100 Cr for claiming profit exemption for a period of 3 years out of first 10 years will allow startups to create jobs and attract more skilled talent. USISPF will work with the government on additional steps it can take to further boost the startup ecosystem in India.”

“Ecommerce is a bright spot of the Indian economy and expected to touch $84 billion by 2021. We therefore, urge the government reconsider its decision to impose 1% TDS on e-commerce. This creates differential treatment of sellers on these platforms and the burden will be ultimately passed on to the consumer.”
“Given the political and fiscal constraints facing the government, we complement Prime Minister Modi and Finance Minister Sitharaman for balancing different priorities.”

Contact: 

Sukanya Sen
[email protected]
240-899-4028