Trends and Issues in Tax Policy and Reform in India
The Indian tax reform experience can provide useful lessons for many countries due to the largeness of the country with multilevel fiscal framework, uniqueness of the reform experience and difficulties in calibrating reforms due to institutional constraints. This paper details the evolution of the tax system and its reform over the years and analyses its efficiency and equity implications. In section 2, alternative models of tax system reform are presented with a view to identifying the best practice approach followed in tax system reforms. Section 3 analyses the evolution of Indian tax system and the impact of historical and institutional factors in shaping Indian tax policy. The trends in tax revenue are presented in section 4 and these point towards a relative stagnation and deceleration in tax revenues at both central and state levels. Section 5 analyses the reasons for the stagnation in revenues at central and state levels. This is followed by an exploratory discussion on the possible efficiency and equity implications of tax system. The final section presents directions for further reforms.
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