Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

The ICC decides fate of Mladic, the 'Butcher of the Balkans'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Celebrations erupt in the streets of Harare as Mugabe resigns

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Zimbabwe's end of an era

Read more

FOCUS

Video: An uncertain fate for US's transgender soldiers

Read more

THE DEBATE

Enslaved in Libya: What to do about exploited African migrants?

Read more

ENCORE!

Seal on his new album 'Standards' and why he doesn't like texting

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The End of German Stability'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Bad news for Merkel is bad news for Europe'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Zimbabwean MPs set to start impeachment proceedings against Mugabe

Read more

India announces changes to its new national tax

© AFP/File | Indian traders and businesses complained the new tax process implemented in 2017 was too complex and increased the cost of doing business

NEW DELHI (AFP) - 

India announced Friday a slew of changes to its new national goods and services tax as pressure mounted on New Delhi to ease burden on businesses in the midst of an economic slowdown.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government launched a new national goods and services tax on July 1, its biggest tax overhaul in a generation that was meant to unify the $2 trillion economy into a single market, with four tax rates of 5, 12, 18 and 28 percent.

But traders and businesses complained the new process was too complex and increased the cost of doing business.

Economists agree it has contributed to dragging on India's growth which hit a three year low of 5.7 percent in the first quarter of the financial year.

On Friday the government, which is in the midst of elections in a couple of states including Modi's home state of Gujarat in December, announced plans to slash rates on several items across all tax slabs, easing the burden on consumers and businesses.

The biggest pruning occurred in the highest tax slab of 28 percent where New Delhi said it will slash rates on 177 of the more than 200 goods including chocolate, shampoo and shaving cream.

It also cut rates on goods across all other tax slabs making several products cheaper including salad dressing, fly ash, fishing net and dried fish, and exempted some others from GST.

Pratik Jain, partner at consultancy PwC said the reducing the number of goods in the highest tax slab of 28 percent was "a step in right direction and is indicative of a policy shift...to what is right for GST structure and consumers. It would be good if the 28 percent slab is further pruned."

© 2017 AFP