Goods and Services Tax bill approved after a decade of building consensus
Washington, DC: The Indian Parliament set in to motion the next phase of economic reforms by passing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill in its Upper House, the Rajya Sabha, with near unanimous consensus from all political parties. The Bill is now being debated in the lower House, the Lok Sabha, where it is likely to sail through smoothly. The GST bill envisions a unified, transparent and efficient value added tax system that will transform India into the world’s largest single market.
Once implemented by April 2017, the GST will enable ease of doing business and investment in India, reduce tax avoidance, improve compliance, raise revenue, ensure seamless movement of goods across states. GST is expected to give a boost of 1-2% to the growth of the economy and generate millions of formal jobs. Infosys, Indian software colossus, has been setting up a massive online, state of the art GST portal; where taxpayers can register, make payments and file returns. Some 7.5 million businesses will be covered by the tax.
Industry experts have welcomed the GST as a landmark amendment to the Indian Constitution and weighed in on its impact on India’s global economic future. Harshavardhan Neotia, president, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry remarked, “GST is one of the most-awaited reform measures by the industry. It is noteworthy that the principal opposition party has played a constructive role by articulating some of the concerns which have been noted by the government and would help form base of a robust GST framework for India.” K. Ravichandran, co-head, corporate sector ratings, ICRA Ltd “Implementation of GST will be positive for some of the port logistics players as it will lead to a realignment of their warehousing and supply chain requirements.” "No country of comparable size and complexity has attempted a tax reform of this scale," says Harishankar Subramanian, of Ernst and Young.
Sanjay Puri, Chairman of USINPAC welcomed the historic reform in the Indian tax system by saying, ‘Though the GST may not be a magic pill, its successful implementation will push India into a new phase of accelerated growth. As Indian Americans we cheer for positive growth and prosperity of India and its economy.”
The US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) is the voice of over 3.2 million Indian- Americans and works on issues that concern the community. It supports candidates for local, state and federal office and encourages political participation by the Indian- American community. Visit www.usinpac.com for more details.