DOHA: The government introduced legislation billed as the biggest tax reform since independence, with analysts hailing it as a “game changer” that would cut the cost of doing business and boost economic growth.The long-awaited goods-and-services tax (GST) would replace a slew of levies currently in place to create a single internal market.
One of various reforms undertaken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, the GST would swell public coffers by broadening the tax base, economists say.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called the GST the “single biggest tax reform since independence” of the country from Britain more than six decades ago.
We will formally take it (the GST) up in the next session” which begins in February, Jaitley told parliament’s upper house as the bill was introduced in the lower house.
It is like creating internal trade liberalisation,” Jaitley said.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which won a big election mandate in May under Modi, aims to have the reform take effect from April 1, 2016.
Jaitley said his party had succeeded in getting India’s 29 states to agree to the GST where the previous left-leaning Congress government failed.He described the indirect tax as a “win-win situation” for both levels of government.