Tax Reforms

Topics: Stock exchange, Macroeconomics, Manmohan Singh Pages: 6 (2027 words) Published: August 26, 2013
* Liberalisation: In general,  liberalisation refers to a relaxation of previous government restrictions, usually in such areas of social and economic policy. Economic liberalisation in India: The economic liberalisation in India refers to ongoing economic reforms in India that started on 24 July 1991. After Independence in 1947, India adhered to socialist policies. Attempts were made to liberalise the economy in 1966 and 1985. The first attempt was reversed in 1967. Thereafter, a stronger version of socialism was adopted. The second major attempt was in 1985 by prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. The process came to a halt in 1987, though 1966 style reversal did not take place.[1] In 1991, after India faced a balance of payments crisis, it had to pledge 20 tonnes of gold to Union Bank of Switzerland and 47 tonnes to Bank of England as part of a bailout deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In addition, the IMF required India to undertake a series of structural economic reforms.[2] As a result of this requirement, the government of P. V. Narasimha Rao and his finance minister Manmohan Singh (currently the Prime Minister of India) started breakthrough reforms, although they did not implement many of the reforms the IMF wanted.[3][4] The new neo-liberal policies included opening for international trade and investment, deregulation, initiation of privatisation, tax reforms, and inflation-controlling measures. The overall direction of liberalisation has since remained the same, irrespective of the ruling party, although no party has yet tried to take on powerful lobbies such as the trade unions and farmers, or contentious issues such as reforming labour laws and reducing agricultural subsidies.[5] Thus, unlike the reforms of 1966 and 1985 that were carried out by the majority Congress governments, the reforms of 1991 carried out by a minority government proved sustainable. There exists a lively debate in India as to what made the economic reforms sustainable.[6] The fruits of liberalisation reached their peak in 2007, when India recorded its highest GDP growth rate of 9%.[7] With this, India became the second fastest growing major economy in the world, next only to China.[8] The growth rate has slowed significantly in the first half of 2012.[9] An Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report states that the average growth rate 7.5% will double the average income in a decade, and more reforms would speed up the pace.[10] Indian government coalitions have been advised to continue liberalisation. India grows at slower pace than China, which has been liberalising its economy since 1978.[11] The McKinsey Quarterlystates that removing main obstacles "would free India's economy to grow as fast as China's, at 10% a year".[12] There has been significant debate, however, around liberalisation as an inclusive economic growth strategy. Since 1992, income inequality has deepened in India with consumption among the poorest staying stable while the wealthiest generate consumption growth.[13] As India's Gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate became lowest in 2012-13 over a decade, growing merely at 5%,[14] more criticism of India's economic reforms surfaced, as it apparently failed to address employment growth, nutritional values in terms of food intake in calories, and also exports growth - and thereby leading to a worsening level of current account deficit compared to the prior to the reform period.[15] For 2010, India was ranked 124th among 179 countries in Index of Economic Freedom World Rankings, which is an improvement from the preceding year. * Privatisation:  it is the process of transferring ownership of a business, enterprise, agency, public service or public property from the public sector (a government) to the private sector, either to a business that operate for a profit or to anonprofit organization. It may also mean government outsourcing of services or functions to private firms, e.g. revenue...
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