Goods and Services Tax (GST) Current Affairs - 2020

IMD World Competitiveness Rankings 2019

India has moved up one place to rank 43rd most competitive economy in world in annual competitiveness rankings compiled by International Institute for Management Development (IMD).

Key Highlights

  • India: has moved one notch higher to 43th rank (from its 44th position in 2018, 45th in 2017 and 41st in 2016.) in terms of competitiveness worldwide. This improved rank is result of India’s robust economic growth, a large labour force and its huge market size.
  • Singapore: The competitiveness chart was topped by Singapore that has toppled the Hong Kong and the United States to to take the top spot among the world’s most competitive economies. Singapore has grabbed top position for the first time in nine years. In 2018 it stood at third rank.
  • US: The US slipped to the third place in 2019 edition of the IMD World Competitiveness Rankings.
  • Hong Kong: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) has held onto its second position same as last year. This rank was due to countries benign tax and business policy environment and access to business finance.
  • Asia-Pacific: As per the study Asia-Pacific region has emerged as a global beacon with 11 out of 14 economies (that were studied) either improved or holded onto their ground.
  • Saudi Arabia: is the country that made its mark as the biggest climber of 2019. It advanced 13 places from 2018 currently to No. 26 this was due to strong investment in education.
  • Venezuela: embattled in turmoil hit by inflation, poor access to credit and a weak economy finished in last place.

About IMD World Competitiveness Rankings

  • The rankings were first started in 1989.
  • It ranks 63 economies on 235 indicators which are incorporated from each of these economies. The indicators are used to evaluate country’s ability to foster an environment where enterprises can achieve desirable sustainable growth, generate employment and increase its citizen’s welfare.
  • Gauge: The International Institute for Management Development (IMD) Business School takes into account a wide range of statistics and hard data such as unemployment, GDP and government spending on health and education as well as soft data from an international business executive opinion survey on topics such as social cohesion, globalisation and corruption.
  • Categories: The economies were judged in four categories
  1. Economic Performance
  2. Infrastructure
  3. Government Efficiency
  4. Business Efficiency.

Way Forward

In the IMD 2019 rankings, although India has scored well on several economic parameters and tax policies but it still lagged in terms of education infrastructure, societal framework, public finance, health and environment. Thus challenge before India remains to address digital literacy and internet bandwidth in rural areas, to maintain high growth with employment generation, proper implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST), managing fiscal discipline.

Government issues Notification for roll out of GST

The government has notified the roll out of Goods and Services Tax (GST) from July 1st.

Salient Facts

To launch GST in the midnight of June 30th, the government has organised a special programme to be held in Central Hall of Parliament. The event will see the participation of President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and other Ministers and bureaucrats.

As per the last year’s Constitutional amendment approved by Parliament, the government has been given time only till 15th of September, 2017. Within that time period, the government has to replace the existing indirect tax structure by the GST, failing which may trigger a constitutional crisis as no tax can be levied on goods and services. So, the government has ruled out the possibility of deferring the roll out of GST by any further time period.

GST which will subsume a host of indirect levies like excise, service tax and VAT will be one of the nation’s biggest economic reform.


Goods and Services Tax is a comprehensive indirect tax which is to be levied on the manufacture, sale and consumption of goods and services in India. This is so far the biggest tax reform in the country. GST eliminates the cascading effect of taxes because it is taxed at every point of business and the input credit is available in the value chain.

France was the first country to introduce GST system in 1954. More than 140 countries have implemented the GST. The Genesis of GST occurred during the previous NDA Government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government when it set up the Asim Dasgupta committee to design a model for GST. The UPA Government took the matter further and announced in 2006 that this tax would be introduced from April 1, 2010. However, so far it was not introduced. All the GST bills including Constitution (101st Amendment) Act have been passed now and GST is set to come into force from July 1, 2017.

GST would replace almost all vital indirect taxes and cesses on Goods & services in the country. Among the taxes levied by centre, GST will subsume the following: Central Excise Duty & Service Tax, Duties of Excise (Medicinal and Toilet Preparations), Additional Duties of Excise (Goods of Special Importance), Additional Duties of Excise (Textiles and Textile Products), Additional Duties of Customs (commonly known as CVD), Special Additional Duty of Customs (SAD), and finally the Central Surcharges and Cesses.

Among the state taxes that would be replaced by GST include State VAT, Central Sales Tax c. Luxury Tax, Entry Tax (all forms), Entertainment and Amusement Tax (except when levied by the local bodies), Taxes on advertisements, Purchase Tax, Taxes on lotteries, betting and gambling, and finally the state Surcharges and Cesses.