IMF/World Bank Meetings Focus on “Growth-Friendly Fiscal Policy”

2017FiscalForum-IMF-WB
2017 Fiscal Forum: Digital Revolutions in Public Finance

The mood at last weekend’s IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings was the most optimistic since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, as evidenced by the communiqué issued by the IMF’s Governing Board: “The global economic recovery is gaining momentum, commodity prices have firmed up, and deflation risks are receding.” Nevertheless, there are concerns that political and policy uncertainties (often citing the U.S. and EU) pose risks to improving growth. Concerns were also expressed by government officials, IMF senior representatives and civil society groups about “those who have been left behind” and have not benefited from global economic integration and technological progress.

Continue reading “IMF/World Bank Meetings Focus on “Growth-Friendly Fiscal Policy””

Impending VAT in the GCC: Much Still to be Clarified

states-42706_1280The slump in oil prices in the last few years has increased the pressure on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) to seek more sustainable government revenues through taxation. Corporate income tax is currently the only direct tax imposed within the GCC, and even then Bahrain and the UAE only impose the tax on narrow sectors of the economy. Continue reading “Impending VAT in the GCC: Much Still to be Clarified”

GST – Long-Awaited Step in India’s Economic Reforms

borders-2099205_1280After 11 long years, the journey to introduce a Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India is now nearly complete. The Dual GST Model will see the Central Government, 31 State Governments and 5 Union Territories levy and collect GST concurrently on a common tax base. The final hurdle was passed on 29 March when the lower house of the Union Parliament, Lok Sabha, approved the follow-up implementation related to the CGST Act, UTGST Act and IGST Act. Additionally, the act relating to compensation by the Centre to the States for possible revenue loss due to GST has also been passed. Continue reading “GST – Long-Awaited Step in India’s Economic Reforms”