India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) has the potential to make the country’s textile industry more competitive.

A long-awaited taxation reform aimed at “One Nation, One Tax” became a reality in India when the Goods and Service Tax (GST) Act was passed in Parliament on March 29 this year and came into effect from July 1.

India’s Revenue Secretary, Dr Hasmukh Adhia, embodies the spirit of a new-age bureaucracy, writes India Inc. CEO Manoj Ladwa.

Sardar Vallabbhai Patel, independent India’s first Home Minister, famously dubbed the bureaucracy as the “Steel frame of India’. It was, and is, India’s multi-layered bureaucracy that keeps the wheels of the vast nation in motion.

But over time, the edges of the steel frame have rusted and parts of the core have become weak. Result: India’s governance structure has become lax over the last 70 years since Independence.

Enter another man from the state of Gujarat – Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who earned his spurs as an effective administrator during his 13-year stint as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Focused on delivery of services to the ordinary Indian, Modi encouraged and supported bureaucrats who were highly motivated, empowered and results driven – a clean break from the traditionally negative impression (and experiences) of the Indian bureaucracy – of a class of highly educated but corrupt, inefficient and uncaring mandarins who are a hindrance to progress.

We have featured one such “supercrat” bureaucrat – Revenue Secretary Dr Hasmukh Adhia – on our cover this time because I feel he is at the vanguard of the arrival of this new breed of honest, hardworking, diligent, and fiercely independent set of bureaucrats that the Modi government is spawning – and empowering. Adhia has spearheaded the tricky implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which in effect makes India’s 1.2 billion people members of one common market, at last. He also was at the helm of the department that rolled out India’s record breaking financial inclusion programme – the Jan Dhan Yojna.

As a politician and the Chief Minister of Gujarat, his job – and that of his ministerial colleagues – Modi had said, was to focus on policy and public engagements. It was the duty of the empowered bureaucrats to focus on delivery and implementation .

Now, Modi is bringing his tried and trusted success formula to New Delhi. The modern bureaucrat can no longer think like the proverbial bureaucrat. Instead, he or (increasingly and thankfully) she has to be the CEO of the department(s) under his or her charge.

India’s top tier bureacrats can no longer depend only on precedent to show them the way; they have to think out of the box to support Modi’s vision and resolve the many issues that governing a complex country like India routinely throws up.

The Indian government has recently announced that it will no longer follow the practice of awarding automatic time-served promotions to the positions of Secretaries and Principal Secretaries. Instead, aspirants will be subject to 360 degree reviews – and only those who have shown initiative and ability to deliver on difficult targets will be promoted to coveted posts.

At one stroke, the highest levels of the Indian bureaucracy will be rid of mere time servers and only the best will rise to the top.

Adhia is just one example of this new breed of mandarins. There are many others waiting in the wings to follow in his footsteps. And, the Indian Prime Minister and many of his colleagues in the Cabinet are encouraging them to do so.

There are other, far reaching proposals as well. The chief of Niti Aayog, the Indian government’s in-house think-tank, Arvind Panagariya has suggested that senior positions in the government be opened up to talented personnel from the private sector as well. If implemented, this will provide a further much-needed blood transfusion to the system and challenge the cosy, clubby world that senior Indian mandarins currently live in.

Doubtless, there will be many more suggestions and hurdles, like addressing the massive pay gap between the public and private sector.

I’m glad though that the journey has begun on a positive note, and with role models like Adhia and others, the emerging go-getter legion of Indian “supercrats” will stand the country in good stead for the future.

Manoj Ladwa is the founder of India Inc. and chief executive of MLS Chase Group @manojladwa

The new Goods and Services Tax (GST) will help neutralise the centrifugal forces in the Indian economy, writes a policy expert.



The historical project of transforming India from a conglomeration of sub-national identities and interests to a modern nation state began with our Independence. The assimilation of more than 500 princely states, which had been rather ingeniously given the choice by the departing British colonial administration to either secede or join the Indian Union was the first major step in this direction. That process of creating a unified, coherent and efficiently working nation state has been given another hefty push by the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from 1 July 2017.

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The Goods & Services Tax (GST) is one of the most significant reforms in post-independence India which has rightly garnered interest of businesses across the nation. Here a tech enthusiast highlights why digitisation is the key.

For decades, India has been thriving on a ‘red tape’ culture. India as a trade economy has been functioning on high import tariffs, excises and turnover tax on goods and services having enormous cascading effects, leading to a distorted structure of production, consumption and exports.

A leading consultant analyses the factors that have made investing in India easier and a more rewarding experience as long as investors go in with a level of preparedness.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recently altered its predicted growth rate for India slightly downward to 6.8 per cent, but this is still attractive compared to the sluggish rates of growth elsewhere in the world. Foreign investors’ confidence in India has also recently improved, making it the eighth most attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). Meanwhile India’s ranking in the World Bank’s league table for ‘ease of doing business’ is rising, albeit at 130 the improvement isn’t over yet!

These changes have been strongly influenced by the government’s attempts to make India a more attractive market by, for example, implementing demonetisation in November 2016, increasing online transactions and the planned introduction of a common nationwide Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July.

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has carefully nursed the country’s economy back to sound health.

He is equally at home rubbing shoulders with the world’s leading industrialists and investors in Davos, London and Singapore and inviting them to invest in India as he is strategising the nitty-gritty of how to win elections in hinterland Indian states. And all this when he isn’t dispensing advice to some of the thorniest legal problems of the land.

If last year was one marked by turbulence, this year is one that has begun with hope. Hope for the long-delayed and much needed Goods and Service Tax to become a reality – despite some last moment political opposition; hope for the bold demonetisation initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to start paying dividends, later this year, in terms of higher growth and lower levels of corruption; hope for lower interest rates that will restart the investment cycle and a renewed boom in loan-fuelled consumer spending; hope for election results that help the economic reforms process to gather steam; and most importantly, hope for the creation of millions of jobs – the true barometer of the Prime Minister’s poll promise of ushering in achcche din (good times).

How likely is it for our hopes to come true? Truth be told, the chances are fairly high, but there could be some hiccups along the way as well.

Read on further to find out more about all these issues that will surely affect you and your investments in India.

An Indian visa strategist demystifies some of the jargon that is often associated with very simple travel procedures for the country and analyses how the e-visa is changing the landscape for business travel to India.

When one hears the words Indian visas, one usually has images of nightmare queues and waking up at ridiculous hours of the morning to trek to the Indian mission. Well, with the advent of an online visa (the so called e-Tourist Visa (e-TV for short)), let’s examine the impact these changes have had on the business traveller to India.

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Changes to how overseas work, including in India, will be taxed is among wider UK government plans to alter how termination pay outs, such as redundancy payments, will be dealt with by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

It would be a mistake for the UK Government to go ahead and abolish, in April 2018, Foreign Service Relief (FSR) on termination payments made to UK taxpayers. FSR is a longstanding relief which wholly or partly exempts non-contractual termination of employment payments from income tax in the UK, where a UK tax resident employee has worked abroad for a significant part of their period of service.

We are urging the UK government to rethink its proposal because FSR seems fair to the many UK residents who spend a substantial part of their careers working abroad. It is also vital that the UK continues to support its internationally mobile workforce.

Employment intensive sectors such as agriculture, housing, tourism, textiles and retail must flourish and grow, writes a policy expert.

Narendra Modi is known as a transformational leader of exceptional inner strength and courage, and with his announcement a few weeks ago to change high denomination currency notes, he donned an unexpectedly breathtaking challenge on himself and invited every citizen of India to completely and totally metamorphose our economy and society.