Is 'penalising' the same as 'terrorising'? An interpreter seemed to think so, with embarrassing outcome, while translating the comments of French aviation major Safran's CEO Olivier Andries on Wednesday during Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's tour of the multinational company's facility in Paris that makes the M88 state-of-the art engines fitted on Rafale jets.
Expressing the company's desire to set up a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) shop in India, Andries said "for that, we need to make sure that the tax system and customs regime is not penalising us." He was speaking in French, and the interpreter used the word "terrorising" in translating "penalising." Late Wednesday night, the company stressed that there had been a "misunderstanding" and issued a statement with the CEO's comments translated in English, using the word "penalising".
"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 said, quoting Andries.
At the conclusion of his three-day visit to France on Wednesday, Singh had taken specific note of any 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 need for further tax rationalisation, it may be considered suitably," the minister said, as he extended an invitation for French companies to participate in the DefExpo 2020 being held in Lucknow next year.