Securities and Exchange Board of India
VCFs are a dedicated pool of capital and therefore operates in fiscal neutrality and are treated as pass through vehicles. In any case, the investors of VCFs are subjected to tax. Similarly, the investee companies pay taxes on their earnings. There is a well established successful precedent in the case of Mutual Funds which once registered with SEBI are automatically entitled to tax exemption at pool level. It is an established principle that taxation should be only at one level and therefore taxation at the level of VCFs as well as investors amount to double taxation. Since like mutual funds VCF is also a pool of capital of investors, it needs to be treated as a tax pass through. Once registered with SEBI, it should be entitled to automatic tax pass through at the pool level while maintaining taxation at the investor level without any other requirement under Income Tax Act.
3.Mobilisation of Global and Domestic resources:
(A) Foreign Venture Capital Investors (FVCIs):
Presently, FIIs registered with SEBI can freely invest and disinvest without taking FIPB/RBI approvals. This has brought positive investments of more than US $10 billion. At present, foreign venture capital investors can make direct investment in venture capital undertakings or through a domestic venture capital fund by taking FIPB / RBI approvals. This investment being long term and in the nature of risk finance for start-up enterprises, needs to be encouraged. Therefore, atleast on par with FIIs, FVCIs should be registered with SEBI and having once registered, they should have the same facility of hassle free investments and disinvestments without any requirement for approval from FIPB / RBI. This is in line with the present policy of automatic approvals followed by the Government. Further, generally foreign investors invest through the Mauritius-route and do not pay tax in India under a tax treaty. FVCIs therefore should be provided tax exemption. This provision will put all FVCIs, whether investing through the Mauritius route or not, on the same footing. This will help the development of a vibrant India-based venture capital industry with the advantage of best international practices, thus enabling a jump-starting of the process of innovation.
The hassle free entry of such FVCIs on the pattern of FIIs is even more necessary because of the following factors :
Venture capital is a high risk area. In out of 10 projects, 8 either fails or yield negligible returns. It is therefore in the interest of the country that FVCIs bear such a risk.
Report of K B Chandrasekhar Committee on Venture Capital3