India Set To Introduce Goods And Services Tax
India’s Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament, has approved legislation that will, hopefully, pave the way for the introduction of a national goods and services tax system.
It’s not often that a new tax should be so celebrated, but the GST isn’t just a victory for simplification (well, almost at three taxes in one). It’s also being seen as a major triumph for the BJP Government and its reformist credentials. Certainly, it has taken Narendra Modi’s Government two tortuous years to get to this point, even though it was one of its top priorities. But it has accomplished far more in those two years than the previous administration – whose idea GST was – had achieved in more than 10. However, where India and taxation are concerned, things are rarely straight forward. This isn’t a done deal yet. The Constitutional Amendment Bill passed on August 5 lays the groundwork, but the architects have yet decided on some key features of the structure. For a start, there is just the small matter of the state and central governments getting together to agree GST rates, while various other key parameters like registration thresholds and exemptions have been kicked down the road.
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