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Indian shipowners stress the need for government support

Mumbai: Many Indian shipowners believe that the extremely high taxes levied against the shipping industry will prevent private investment required to increase port capacity to 1.5bn tonnes by 2012. The expansion, announced by the Indian shipping ministry will require an estimated investment of $12bn by the government and private investors. At the Indian Shipping Summit last week Yudhishthir Khatau, Indian National Shipowners' Association (INSA) president and md of Varun Shipping, said that the industry is lumbered by 12 domestic taxes including capital gains tax, dividend distribution tax, service tax and fringe benefit tax which serve to make the Indian market less attractive to investors. On behalf of INSA, Khatau has asked for a complete removal of these taxes which he claims will allow the industry to sharpen its international profile. [16/10/2006]

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