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Liaison Office in GE India rightly held as PE as it had authority to conclude contract on behalf of GE overseas

January 9, 2019[2019] 101 142 (Delhi)

IT : Where assessee, U.S. company and a part of GE group, had set up a liasion office in India with permission of RBI to act as a communication channel, but survey conducted at LO's premises revealed that assessee was doing core marketing and sales activities, since GE carries out, i.e. manufacture and supply of highly specialized and technically customized equipment and the "core activity" of developing the customer (identifying a client), approaching that customer, communicating the available options, discussing technical and financial terms of the agreement, even price negotiations, needed a collaborative process in which the potential client along with GE's India employees and its experts, had to intensely negotiate the intricacies of the technical and commercial parameters of the articles and this also involved discussing the contractual terms and the associated consideration payable, the warranty and other commercial terms, discharge of vital responsibilities relating to finalization of commercial terms, or at least a prominent involvement in the contract finalization process, clearly revealed that the GE carried on business in India through its fixed place of business and had fixed place permanent establishment in India

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