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

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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.

In his Budget 2001-2002 the finance minister has claimed that he has introduced changes to usher in “second generation economic reforms” (para 182 of the Budget speech). If we take a close look at what exactly he has done or not done, then we find that more has been said than done. The proclamations far outweigh actual performance.

The finance minister has claimed that he has “reduced the number of rates in both customs and excise duties, simplified procedures...”. What he has actually done are:

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