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Thirty Years of Tax Reform in India

Shankar Acharya
Economic and Political Weekly
Vol. 40, No. 20 (May 14-20, 2005), pp. 2061+2063-2070
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4416644
Page Count: 9
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Thirty Years of Tax Reform in India
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Abstract

This paper sketches the contours of India's tax reform story from the mid-1970s to the present and finds that enormous progress has been made in the last 30 years, judged by the standards of economic efficiency, equity, built-in revenue elasticity and transparency. However, key issues for further reform include the plethora of complex exemptions plaguing customs tariff, low buoyancy of excise, integration of CENVAT with state VAT and the broad-basing of direct taxes. Sustaining programmes to deploy IT and modern risk management methods in tax administration will be critical, for the dictum 'tax administration is tax policy' is quite true.

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