French aerospace company Safran that manufactures engines for Rafale fighter jets issued a clarification on its CEO Olivier Andries's comment on Indian tax system during Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's visit to the company's assembly plant near Paris.
The engine manufacturer made it clear that the interpreter had misquoted Andries who was speaking in French regarding Indian tax and customs regime.
As he was speaking in French, the interpreter translated the word "penalising" as "terrorising". The company on Wednesday issued a statement translating Andries comments in English, using the word "penalising".
The engine manufacturer said that it had requested the Indian government to not "penalise" the firm on tax and customs matters.
Voicing the company's inclination to set up a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in India, Andries stated, "for that, we need to make sure that the tax system and customs regime is not penalising us."
"We would like to discuss this point with the government to make sure that it makes sense for us, versus an MRO shop that would be outside India. Frankly speaking, we would like to develop this shop in India," the statement added.
At the conclusion of his three-day visit to France on Wednesday, Singh had taken specific note of tax concerns that foreign investors may have and told a gathering of top CEOs of defence manufacturing industries that the Indian government was open to any further rationalisation that may be required to facilitate the 'Make in India' programme.
"For 'Make in India' in defence if there is a need for further tax rationalisation, it may be considered suitably," Singh said, as he extended invitation to DefExpo 2020 being held in Lucknow next year.
Singh on Thursday left France at the end of a three-day visit, which he said had been extremely productive and would further strengthen bilateral defence ties.
The minister, who took formal charge and flew a sortie in the first of 36 Rafale combat jets to be inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF), left with a message for French companies to make India their base for production of defence equipment.
"Thank you France! Merci! This visit has been extremely productive," he said in a farewell message on Twitter.
"The outcomes of this visit will further strengthen the defence cooperation between India and France. My gratitude to President Emmanuel Macron, (Armed Forces) Minister Florence Parly and the government of France for their hospitality, he said.
(With inputs from PTI)