Arun Jaitley: A stellar achievement in reform

The Indian finance minister finally pulled off a long-awaited nationwide goods and services tax, arguably the most important economic reform of the post-colonial era.

It took more than a decade to get there but India’s parliament finally approved a long-awaited bill in August 2016, creating a nationwide goods and services tax GST arguably the most important tax reform ever achieved in post-colonial India.

The shift to a consumption tax will be a boon to those who bemoan unnecessary bureaucracy in India. It removes cumbersome and price-distorting layers of double taxes and, in the long-run, should bring down prices for consumers.

The improvement is clear. Take car sales as an example. Before the introduction of GST, car sales were subject to six different levies at various rates, depending on the engine...

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