ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Sukumar MukhopadhyaySubscribe to Sukumar Mukhopadhyay

Globalisation and Indian Services Sector

In view of the growing importance of services in the economy and the significance of the multilateral framework for enhancing India's trade prospects in the sector, liberalisation of trade and investment in the services sector is especially important.

Value Added Tax

The value added tax is being introduced in an imperfect manner in India because there has to be a compromise between the interests of different states as well as a consensus and also because not enough thought has gone into working out the Acts which have been drafted so far. Once we are able to pinpoint where exactly the effort has gone wrong, it would not be difficult to improve matters.

Exim Policy 2002-07

Against the background of the dismal export performance in 2001-02, the Exim Policy had to be made to sound ambitious and innovative. However, in effect it amounts mostly to continuation of existing schemes. The real snag is the lackadaisical attitude of the central and state authorities in implementing policies, as is so tellingly brought out by the progress, or lack of it, of the Special Economic Zones scheme.

Indirect Taxes

The Budget for 2002-03 has done little for rationalisation of indirect taxes. The changes made are marginal and no structural reform of the type suggested by many economists, analysts and committees has been attempted. Doling out exemptions has remained the key consideration and we seem to be back to the itemby- item approach of the 1970s and 1980s.

Excise and Customs Duty Reform

Now that the next budget is round the corner, it is imperative that we have a good look at what reforms are due in respect of the duties of excise and customs since that is a very crucial part of overall reform.

Excise Authorities' Attitude Compounding Recession

The attitude of the excise authorities holding plant and machinery to be excisable, mechanically following a Supreme Court judgment which has all but been reversed by subsequent judgments, and piling up large tax demands on industry is threatening to aggravate the recession in industry.

Life after QRs

In the sixties in Custom Houses all over the country, particularly in Calcutta (as it then was), there were two Red Books: Mao's Red Book and the Import Policy Book. With the change in the political equation between the Chinese Communist Party and that section of communists in India, import of Mao's Red Book died a natural death. And now, with the demise of quantitative restrictions and other import controls, the other Red Book too has met with a similar fate. No tears need be shed for it.

Indirect Taxes: More Said than Done

The finance minister claims to have reduced the number of rates of excise and customs duties. A closer look at the Budget does not bear out this claim. Neither in terms of reducing the number of rates nor of progress in doing away with the maze of exemptions can the Budget claim to have made significant progress in the direction of reform of the system of indirect taxation.

VAT: A Closer Look

In an irreverant look at VAT, the darling of tax pundits, the author questions the supposed virtues of the tax-neutrality, avoidance of cascading and zero-rating of exports - and wonders whether more genuine tax reforms should not be considered in preference to VAT.

Mutuality of Interest in Excise Valuation

From an analysis of the legal pronouncements on the subject it is clear that in the absence of mutuality of interest between two firms there cannot be any legitimate conclusion that they are related persons, even if they are principal and subsidiary.

Excisability of Plant and Machinery

A recent decision of the Supreme Court has reopened the discussion on whether the erection of a plant, such as a power plant or paper mill should be considered to be an act of manufacture and therefore be charged excise duty, even though the component parts have already attracted such duty.

Defining Goods for Indirect Taxes

More statutory definitions for the purpose of classification of goods for indirect taxes will reduce controversies and litigation and consequent uncertainty for industry and business as well as for government finances.


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