GST and the Global Economy

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When in the history of the world economy was a constitutional revision project debated for six years and then passed by the Union Parliament and ratified by sixteen states in two months?

Where else did the federal Parliament and thirty-one state legislatures approve five laws totaling 200 pieces of delegated legislation in sixteen languages—State Goods and Services Tax Acts, the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, Union Territory Goods and Services Tax, and the Goods and Services Tax Act.

When was the last time, after many discussions and compromises, a mandate was produced after eighteen months of meetings led by the Union financial Minister and including ministers from every state’s financial ministry? The GST global economy story is one of immense national ambition, unparalleled in the annals of the world economy.

The Tax on Goods and Services

The GST role in global economic growth is a consumption tax that is based on the credit invoice method, which allows credit to flow freely throughout the supply chain and only taxes value added at each stage of the supply chain. It resulted in a much more streamlined tax system by absorbing a large number of consumer levies that were previously in place in India and were previously managed separately by the Center and the States.

Encouraging Global Trade

The previous intricacy of cross-border transactions between India and other nations has been eliminated by the GST. Under the new system, Integrated GST (IGST) has taken the place of Central Excise Duty (CDVD) and CVD on imports. 

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  • Although input credit is permitted across the whole supply chain, including the tariffs at the point of importation, the IGST is applied to all imports.
  • As a result, importers’ cash flow has improved, and international exporters now have easier access to the Indian market.
  • To enable foreign visitors to claim the GST global economy they spent on purchases when they depart India, refund procedures have also been made simpler.
  • The number of border checks and related delays for Indian exporters has drastically decreased.
  • Exports are regarded as zero-rated supplies under the GST, which enables exporters to receive tax credits on manufacturing inputs. Improved liquidity is facilitated by prompt reimbursement of GST paid on inputs.
  • India has benefited from GST’s influence on international trade and has been able to engage with the global economy by eliminating trade obstacles between states and simplifying regulations.

India’s Tax Structure Simplified

Before the GST, India had a complicated indirect tax structure with many Central and State levies at various supply chain levels. Federal charges, including Central Excise Duty, Additional Excise Duties, and Service Tax, supplemented state-level taxes like VAT, CST, Entry Tax, Luxury Tax, and Entertainment Tax. Due to the numerous levies, which frequently cascaded and resulted in double taxation, compliance was extremely difficult and ineffective.

  • The 2017 Goods and Services Tax (GST) merged all of these indirect taxes to reduce state-to-state tax barriers and create a nationwide market.
  • The new GST framework applies one indirect tax to goods and services nationwide. This significant tax reform has made it easier to comply with regulations, simplified the indirect tax structure, and allowed for unrestricted trade in commodities within India.
  • Due to the partial input tax credits and the variety of taxes at the federal and state levels, there were cascade effects that resulted in a large increase in business costs. The purpose of the GST was to eliminate these inefficiencies by combining all indirect taxes—apart from customs duty—under a single tax.
  • Every point of sale is subject to the tax, which permits input tax credits to be used along the whole supply chain. This lowers the cost of production and delivery by removing the cascading effect of taxes. One of the main advantages of GST adoption is the creation of a single national market.

Nations that Have Adopted GST/VAT

The majority of GST-accounting nations have unified GST systems, which impose a single tax rate nationwide. One typical taxing system is GST. Most of these nations have one tax rate. Each of these countries has seen significant and favorable changes since the GST was introduced.

The GST role in global economic growth has altered the taxation structure in India and other countries, which had multiple levies at various levels. GST makes the “supply of goods” and “supply of services” the only taxable events, as taxes are owed at final consumption. Unprovided goods and services are not supplies and, hence, not taxed.

GST global economy taxes were previously applied to production, sale, and service. These stages are no longer applicable under the new GST tax system. It is vital to note that while talking about GST, there were formerly some federal taxes and state-level taxes that are now collected through the special taxation system known as GST.

The GST Viewpoint from a Global Perspective

Since the 1990s, Value-Added Tax (VAT), or GST, has been a major tax policy reform worldwide. Over 160 nations have implemented VAT or GST in the previous 30 years. This change has as its main goals the elimination of turnover tax distortions, equitable and efficient revenue growth, and increased export competitiveness.

  • One of the last significant economies to implement a national GST was India. Many consider it a major accomplishment that a consistent indirect tax system was rolled out and implemented with such relative ease in a country as big and diverse as India.
  • The establishment of the GST Council, which unites the federal and state governments to determine tax administration and policy jointly, is predicted to usher in a new era of cooperative federalism.
  • Multilateral organizations like the World Bank and IMF have praised India’s GST global economy design’s revenue-neutral rate structure despite some short-term difficulties at first. They understand the rationale behind preserving low rates, granting few exemptions, and upholding the tax neutrality of goods and services. With this framework, India’s GST is in line with international best practices.
  • Meanwhile, concerns have been raised about the several tax slabs deviating from the one-rate GST idea. However, all things considered, the GST model for India has been praised as a skillfully crafted destination-based tax system that will promote economic expansion.

The Digital Economy and International Tax Reforms

The swift digitization of the economy presents significant obstacles for tax systems across the globe. New digital business models that leverage data, mobile technology, user interaction, and intellectual property are outpacing traditional taxation.

Incentive Program Objective and Description Target Sectors
Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Boost India’s progress as a world-class manufacturing destination. Semiconductors, display fabricators, telecommunications, automotive, and medical devices.
Gujarat International Finance Tec-city (GIFT) Enhance India’s global financial services industry. GIFT Special Economic Zone (SEZ): Greenfield smart city with sustainable infrastructure and transportation. 

Foreign universities are allowed with exemptions from regular domestic regulations (except those by the International Financial Services Centres Authority).

Other Incentives by States Stamp duty exemptions, capital interest subsidies, exemptions from electricity duties, state goods and services tax reimbursements, or power tariff subsidies. Varied, depending on individual state policies.

Table: Programs offered to promote foreign direct investment

OECD estimates suggest that by 2023, corporate tax revenue from highly digitalized enterprises might increase from 10% to 15% to 20% or more. To address the difficulties that have surfaced as a result of this digital change, a corporation tax revision is urgently needed. Concepts of nexus need to be reconsidered in light of firms’ ability to engage economically in a nation without having a physical presence there.

Also Read: GST: A Global Tax Revolution, Its Impact And Future Prospects

Harmonizing India’s Tax Laws with International Norms

The tax system must be future-proofed against possible base erosion and profit-shifting difficulties that may arise with the growth of India’s digital economy, even though it is still in its early stages of development.

  • In 2022, India increased the scope of its equalization levy to tax goods and services provided by non-resident businesses in e-commerce.
  • The purpose of the 6% equalization levy is to tax businesses that are not covered by the domestic tax system but maintain a sizable economic presence in India. There have been worries expressed, meanwhile, that the increased tax would skew Indian markets. As the agreement on Pillar 1 regulations grows, India’s digital policies have to adjust as well.
  • Concerning Pillar 2, the G-20 developed economies have already enacted legislation creating a 15% global minimum tax, which will take effect in 2023. 

Bottom Line

Since its introduction, the GST global economy has brought greater assistance to business owners by addressing input and service tax set-off in greater detail, incorporating numerous Central and State taxes into the GST, and gradually phasing out the CST. The GST would combine major federal and state taxes, cutting the cost of goods and services produced locally.

Also Read:

GST and The Global Tax Landscape

GST And The International Taxation Of E-Commerce


  • What Is GST And How Does It Affect The Global GST Tax System?

A number of charges have been eliminated by GST indirect taxes. The country’s economy will be balanced under this new administration, opening the door for a national market. It has also lessened the stress associated with compliance abroad. 

  • How Does The GST Affect Investments Made By Foreigners?

Eliminating cascading taxes results in lower operating expenses, fewer disagreements, and an increased return on investment. Given this, India is a more alluring destination for foreign investors than other developing nations.

  • What Effects Does GST Have On Trading Procedures Abroad?

A single integrated GST has taken the place of several customs levies for importers, reducing the burden of compliance and improving cash flows. The reduction of border checkposts has improved the flow of products for exporters. Input tax credits on domestic taxes paid can be claimed by exporters under GST, which increases liquidity.

  • How Does India’s GST Align With International Tax Reforms?

India’s GST is in line with international tax reforms, with a destination-based system that conforms to international standards. With this change, India can participate in the global minimum corporate tax reforms and digital taxation initiatives of the OECD. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) safeguards India’s revenue base by simplifying the taxation of foreign digital enterprises and preventing profit shifting.

  • How Is Federal-State Tax Cooperation Improved by the GST?

To decide on taxes, policies, exemptions, and other matters, the central and state governments meet in the GST Council. As opposed to earlier individual tax systems, this has resulted in cooperative federalism between the central government and the states. The accomplishment of this collaboration is encouraging and opens the door for further improvements

  • Which GST-Related Difficulties Have Been Brought To Light?

Although its design is lauded, the GST has come under fire for deviating from the one-rate concept with its intricate, multi-tiered rate structure. Difficult paperwork, long return periods, unclear regulations, and a heavy compliance burden have made things more difficult. It has been suggested that rates be further rationalized and compliance be made easier.

  • How Is The Average Person Benefited By GST?

Because GST eliminated the previous effect of double taxation, things are now less expensive for consumers. As a result of the reduction of supply chain inefficiencies, prices have also decreased. Lower tax rates that benefit consumers are made possible by increased tax compliance, which expands the revenue base.

  • What Does India’s GST Journey Hold In-Store?

Experts advise India to pursue a two-tiered GST rate structure in addition to a single, low rate for necessities. Processes for compliance need to be further streamlined and made easier. Increased tax base size should result in higher revenue collection. Reaching these will optimize GST’s advantages.

  • How Important Is GST to The Expansion Of India’s Economy?

The introduction of the GST has improved company efficiency. India’s inclusion in a common market allows for economies of scale. The Indian industry is more competitive on a worldwide scale due to lower costs. Together with foreign investment, this boosts India’s economic goals. Effective GST implementation is crucial for long-term economic prosperity.

  • Can GST Improve Trade Competitiveness? 

GST’s global introduction has greatly lowered overall logistics costs. Single registration has simplified tax compliance, increasing trade competitiveness. Trade has grown more efficient as a result of fewer inspections and streamlined procedures.

author avatar
Aaryan Singh
B.Com degree with finance and accounting Specialisation in Goods and Service Tax (GST) and taxation system Completed certification course on GST from ICAI in 2022 Online GST practitioner course completed in 2023 from Indian Institute of Skill Development and Training.

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