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India embarks on boldest tax reform since independence

Launch of goods and services tax a major gamble for Modi

| India
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Indian shops conduct sales to try to beat the goods and services tax that will be implemented on July 1.   © Reuters

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will test his popularity when he launches a national goods and services tax, India's biggest tax reform since independence in 1947, on July 1. It will be Modi's second big economic gamble in just eight months, after he abruptly withdrew large-denomination banknotes from circulation in November in a push to curb corruption and tax evasion.

The stakes are probably even higher this time. The introduction of the GST is meant to turn India into a single, transparent and efficient national market. But it also carries the risk of disrupting millions of small businesses, while affecting the daily lives of all Indians.

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