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India starts biggest tax reform to unite $2 trillion market

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Staff Writer | July 1, 2017
India tax
Asia   Goods and Services Tax

India early Saturday implemented its biggest ever tax reform - the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi pressed a button in parliament's central hall in New Delhi at a special midnight session to launch the GST.

The new tax regime will replace more than a dozen state and central levies, with the aim to unify an economy of $2 trillion and 1.3 billion people into a single market.

"GST is a tribute to the maturity and wisdom of India's democracy," Mukherjee said.

"The new era in taxation, is the result of a broad consensus arrived at between the center and states," he said.

Modi described GST as "good and simple tax," stating that it was not the achievement of any one party or government, but a shared legacy.

The Congress and several other opposition parties boycotted the function.

Experts said GST will increase tax revenues and reinforce economic growth.

Under GST, taxes would be levied under four basic rates -- 5 percent, 12 percent, 18 percent and 28 percent.


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