Government of India proposes to reduce the number of tax incentives built into the corporate tax regime and alongside reduce the statutory tax rate on corporate tax to 25 percent. Beneficiaries of the incentive regime tend to argue that these regimes provide tangible benefits which induce higher level of activity within the economy and hence, phasing these out can be detrimental for the Indian economy. An attempt is made in this paper to briefly assess what can be inferred from available evidence on the effectiveness of the incentive regimes. The focus is on three such schemes, incentives provided for investment in backward areas, incentives for special economic zones and incentives provided for expenditure on research and development.

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