ICCC Welcomes GST Passage in India
By A Correspondent
Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce welcomed the passage of the landmark tax reform bill Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the Indian parliament earlier this week. The bill will replace a patchwork of central and state levies on goods and services and marks India’s most significant economic reform in decades.
In a statement issued in Toronto, Mr. Sanjay Makkar, President, Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) said, “GST will pave the way for a new national sales tax and the creation of a common market across the country for the first time.”
India’s GDP expanded 7.6 per cent in 2015-16, making it the fastest-growing major economy in the world. The GST Bill will also help in doing business in India much easier especially for the Small and Medium Businesses.
“This is a great gift for India on the eve of its 70th independence day. It is an important milestone in India’s progress towards global as well as internal economic integration. The full impact of the new policy will take many years, but it is a clear sign of the India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to continue working to make India economically strong,” Mr. Makkar added.
It may be recalled that in 2012, the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) was instrumental in facilitating a study tour of an all-party parliamentary committee comprising Indian parliamentarians to examine Ontario’s transition to GST. Ontario transitioned to a GST-based indirect tax system in 2010.
Delegation was in Canada to understand the feasibility of implementing tax reforms in India. The Indian parliamentary committee, called the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers, comprised all ministers in charge of Finance/Taxation of all State Governments and Union Territories with legislatures, Additional Secretary (Revenue), Government of India and Member Secretary.
The ICCC had organized a panel discussion for the benefit of the delegation on September 13, 2012. Sushil Kumar Modi, who was the deputy chief minister and finance minister of the Indian state of Bihar, led the delegation, and included Kiran Choudhry, Haryana’s then finance minister. The participants in the discussion included the taxation experts such as John Wilkinson, Bruce Wurts, David Peterson, and the then Minister Bal Gosal and Preeti Saran, Consul General of India in Toronto.