Budget Proposes Game-Changing and Revenue Significant Reforms

There are several specific proposals in the Budget 2015-16 to recalibrate India’s tax effort so that fiscal consolidation may be achieved in the short and medium term.  The game-changing and revenue significant proposals include:  Goods and Service Tax (GST) and Jan Dhan, Aadhar and Mobile (JAM) – to implement direct benefit transfer.   “GST will put in place a state-of-the-art indirect tax system by April 1, 2016.  The JAM Trinity will allow us to transfer benefits in a leakage-proof, well-targeted and cashless manner,” said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during the budget speech on February 28.

In preparation for the introduction of the GST, the Government has been taking consistent policy steps to expand the scope and reach of service tax.  The shift is monumental in terms of changes in the mode of implementation and will undoubtedly require a transition phase.

Incentivizing Trade and Investment

The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) hosted President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a first-ever joint address to the U.S. and Indian business communities on Monday, January 26 in New Delhi along with the Government of India’s Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).

Reimagining India

The Asia Society, Texas Center, recently hosted a panel discussion on the potential of Asia’s next superpower, Reimagining India.

The diasporic community and their material resources are critical for change.

The panelists propose a culturally and geographically unique model for development.  They imagine a strategy for high growth, economic stability, shared prosperity, and environmental sustainability.

Panelist included: Vishakha Desai, Special Advisor for Global Affairs, Columbia University and President Emerita, Asia Society; Ed Emmett, Judge, Harris County; Patrick French, author; Barnik Maitra, Partner, McKinsey; Drayton McLane, Chairman, McLane Group and former owner, Houston Astros; Adil Zainulbhai, Chairman, McKinsey India. (1 hr., 19 min.)