Tax Policy and Financial Transparency

CBGA carries out a range of activities towards enhancing public understanding of taxation issues. These combine research and dissemination on relevant issues, sharing of evidence towards informing policymaking institutions and capacity building of civil society actors. Since there has been a dearth of research on tax issues in the country from the perspective of equity and social justice, our research in this area is filling a major gap in the policy discourse in India.

CBGA’s research gives emphasis to the crucial role that tax policy plays in shaping the overall fiscal policy space in the country. The importance of this issue is underscored by the fact that the total magnitude of government spending in India, as compared to the size of the country’s economy, has been smaller than that in the developed countries and a number of other developing countries; and, the main cause underlying the limited fiscal policy space in our country seems to be its low tax-GDP ratio. Moreover, we also recognise the view that progressive taxation policy could be a useful instrument for redistributing the gains from economic growth. Accordingly, CBGA’s research focuses on relevant aspects of India’s tax system, with emphasis on the policy measures pertaining to direct taxes.

Our efforts in this domain also focus on issues pertaining to international taxation and illicit financial flows. With regard to the latter, we are trying to identify and highlight measures for curtailing the generation of ‘black money’ and its outflow from the country, and, facilitating efforts towards enhancing the capacity of think tanks and civil society organisations in other Asian countries for generating nationally relevant evidence on illicit financial flows. As regards international taxation issues, CBGA’s research and dissemination focuses both on the process of formulation of global norms and standards and their suitability for developing and low income countries. As a Coordinating Committee member of the Financial Transparency Coalition (FTC), a global network of CSOs, think tanks, experts and governments, CBGA is committed to promoting transparency in the global financial system.

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