India Reduces Tax on 177 items

On Friday, November 10, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council announced the biggest concession on taxes since the new indirect tax system took effect on July 1. The Council reduced the list of items attracting the top 28% tax rate to just 50 from 227 previously. The items that were removed were then placed under the 18% tax bracket.

The tax rate was reduced on  177 items ranging rom granite and marble to chewing gum and chocolates, deodorants, and detergents, and will result in a revenue loss of about $3 billion  a year. The tax cut is aimed at making the new indirect tax regime more acceptable to people and to reduce the burden on businesses, reports Mint.

Taxes

Prime Minister Modi said, “There is consensus that slowly the 28% slab should be brought to 18%. But it will take some time because it has a big revenue implication.”

November 10, 2017   No Comments

Corporate America Bets on India

John Chambers, executive chairman, Cisco, and chairman, U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum says, “While India has long been an important global market, never before has it attracted so much enthusiasm from the American business community.”

Chambers attributes India’s economic transformation, from “slow follower to fast innovator in a matter of several years,” in large part to Prime Minister Modi’s ambitious economic reforms, reports Business Today.

PM Modi and John Chambers

PM Modi and John Chambers

So what are these changes, that Chambers thinks can propel India to be “the second largest economy by 2050“?

In his words…

Rebooting India’s Economy

Demonetizing India’s monetary system is a critical step towards dismantling the cash-centric black market and getting more of the population on a formal, taxable economic grid. The banking system will improve as India heads towards a cashless society, which will ultimately increase credit access and financial inclusion beyond reducing the “black economy.” More importantly, it moves India’s economy into the 21st century.

Adopting the Goods and Services Tax

The Indian government formally adopted the Goods and Service Tax (GST) to streamline the country’s complicated system of local and national tax levies into one payment. Some economic experts project that the implementation of the GST will increase the Indian GDP by 1 to 2 percent.

Propelling India into the Digital Age

Launched in 2015, his [Modi’s] Digital India program has committed unprecedented investments to building the country’s digital infrastructure. Of all the changes ushered in by Modi, I believe this will play the greatest role in providing jobs to India’s rapidly growing workforce, which grows by over 1 million new people each month. And this will not only impact India-collaboration on the digital front, it has the potential to uplift bilateral trade to new heights.

The Prime Minister has the ability to create a vision, communicate it well while building hope for its future, and eventually execute that vision – once he determines something is good for India, he is truly fearless.

October 12, 2017   No Comments

Volvo’s Managing Director Says GST Is Good for Business

In an interview with the Economic Times, Tom Von Bonsdorff managing director of Volvo Auto India said that the recently introduced Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a business enabler. “The ease of doing business in India will grow. Now we have just transitioned to GST, give it a few months, it will settle down and will be good for business.”

Bonsdorff told the publication that the company will continue to bring hybrid cars into India despite the higher GST levies on this category of vehicles. Hybrid cars are the crucial first step in helping India achieve its 2030 goal of switching to electric cars for personal transport, he added. In 2019, Volvo will launch its fully electric car globally.

Volvo Logo

“We launched our first plug-in-hybrid last fall. We will continue to launch plug-in-hybrids in all the cars that we bring in. We are committed to that,” Bonsdorff said. He also noted that the company had a good start this year and will go forward in its plan to bring in new cars. He was confident of achieving a target of selling 2000 cars and having 25 new showrooms by the end of this year.

July 20, 2017   No Comments

M&A Deals Surge in India

According to assurance, tax, and advisory firm Grant Thornton, during January-May 2017, there were 170 mergers and acquisition deals worth $35.45 billion in India, registering a significant jump over last year deals worth $13.37 billion.

“All eyes seem to be now on the Goods and Services Tax implementation and its impact on not only trade and economy, but more importantly on investor interest,” Grant Thornton India partner Prashant Mehra said. He added that since there is a clear visibility on this, one should see good traction in both M&A and PE.

A handshake

In May, the e-commerce sector led the deal activity by contributing over 53 percent of the total transaction value. The month also witnessed deals worth over $100 million in the banking and financial services, hospitality and leisure, and real estate sectors, Grant Thornton’s report added.

“Increasing consolidation is driving deal volumes in the start-up sector, capturing 25 percent of volumes with highest activity witnessed in the on-demand services space,” quotes BusinessLine from the report.

June 21, 2017   No Comments

GST May Spur Over 1,000 companies to seek public listing

Ashishkumar Chauhan, CEO of Bombay Stock Exchange says that once India’s federal government implements the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regimen, smaller firms will become tax-compliant and will float IPOs to sell their shares to the public.

Chauhan estimates that around 1,000 companies will list on his bourse over the next four years. “We have only scratched the surface,” he told Bloomberg, adding that about 74 companies raised $4.3 billion through first-time share sales on the BSE in the last fiscal year, the highest since  2010.

Raamdeo Agrawal, joint managing director at Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd., said that the GST was “a huge positive development. It will have short-term hiccups for six months or so. But once it is done and people have accepted it, then the control of the economy will become far better,” reports the Business Insider.

Taxes

June 11, 2017   No Comments