ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Vision of the Kelkar Papers

A Critique

The approach of the Kelkar Task Forces on direct and indirect taxes suffers from certain basic deficiencies for which the consultation papers put out by them have come under flak from large sections of the taxpaying public. The deficiencies are twofold: (1) lack of a strategy to secure majority support, and (2) absence of a sound conceptual framework. In a way the two are interrelated; failure to visualise a strategy stems partly from the weaknesses of the conceptual foundations of the proposed reforms. This essay seeks to explore the sources and nature of these deficiencies. Since the proposals relating to direct taxes have attracted most attention, the discussion here is confined mainly to the direct taxes paper, especially the structural reform proposals, though some observations are made on the proposals for reform of indirect taxes and the administrative system as well.

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