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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.

A financial services expert talks ‘India Investment Journal’ through India’s bold demonetisation move and why it is good news for investors.

On November 8 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made what will be long-remembered as one of the most audacious policy announcements in the history of India: 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, which made up 86 per cent of all outstanding legal currency, were ‘demonetised’ and ceased to be legal tender with immediate effect.

Does the government have sufficient time to roll out the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is, arguably, the biggest tax reform ever attempted in India?

“I am trying my best,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said when asked about the April 2017 deadline for GST.
But experts and analysts feel it will be difficult for the government to meet this rollout schedule as the GST Council, the apex dispute resolution body for the tax, has not yet resolved several issues, the most vexatious of which is the jurisdiction of the Centre and the states over some classes of tax payers.

Senior Columnist Ashok Malik explains how Assembly elections in five states of India will impact growth and investments in the country.

How will this round of elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur affect economic reforms?

This is the last round of elections before the rollout of the Goods and Servce Tax (GST). A good performance by the BJP is sine qua non for the smooth rollout of this reform, which, arguably is the most import tax reform ever undertaken in India.

On the other hand, a poor performance by the BJP will embolden the Opposition to close ranks and put roadblocks in the path of GST. Coming to the individual states, the results in UP will be the most important. If the BJP does well, it will indicate that the BJP is holding on to its performance in 2014 (when it won 71 out of 80 seats and 2 seats went to its ally Apna Dal).