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Arun Jaitley promises friendly income-tax system soon
April, 18th 2015

Having initiated a series of administrative and legislative reforms, India is on its way to have a modern and friendly tax system, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said. “Such a modern tax system, which is friendly to the people and businesses, would be a key to realising the goal of a double digit growth,” Mr Jaitley said in his address at the Peterson Institute for International Economics – a think-tank.

“Tax policy and administration should incentivise compliance. They should be administered fairly, transparently, with minimum discretion with no harassment of taxpayers but also ensuring that tax evasion is dealt with firmly,” Mr Jaitley said spelling out his vision of a modern tax system. “The tax net should be wide so that all citizens feel they are part of government. For domestic taxpayers, the rates need to be low as taxes are seen as money being forcibly transferred from citizens to the state,” he said.

The finance minister said that to achieve these objectives India needed a modern, 21st century system for indirect taxes, direct taxes and tax administration. He exuded confidence that the Parliament would pass the necessary Constitution Amendment Bill for GST in the next three weeks. “GST is a modern tax, a consumption-based value-added tax, and a tax that avoids tax cascading. This would create a broad tax base and strengthen revenues going forward and the tax-GDP ratio,” he said.

The GST will not only promote transparency but reduce corruption because of the paper trail it will create, he said. “We aim to secure legislative passage within the next three weeks after which it will go to the states,” he said.

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