The existing provisions of section 194LC provide that if an Indian company borrows money in foreign currency from a source outside India either under a loan agreement or by way of issue of long-term infrastructure bonds, as approved by the Central Government, then the interest payment to a non-resident person would be subject to a concessional rate of tax @ 5%.
In order to facilitate subscription by a non-resident in the long term infrastructure bonds issued by an Indian company in India (rupee denominated bond ), it is proposed to amend section 194LC of the Income-tax Act so as to provide that where a non-resident deposits foreign currency in a designated bank account and such money as converted in rupees is utilised for subscription to a long-term infrastructure bond issue of an Indian company, then, for the purpose of this section, the borrowing by the company shall be deemed to be in foreign currency. The benefit of reduced rate of tax would, therefore, be available to such non-resident in respect of the interest income arising on such subscription subject to other conditions provided in the section.
The designated bank account should be solely for the purpose of deposit of money in foreign currency and such money is to be used, after conversion, for subscription to a rupee denominated long-term infrastructure bond issue of an Indian company.
This amendment will take effect from 1st June, 2013.