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India hopes to roll out goods and services tax in 2016: Modi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Valeriy Melnikov | Host Photo Agency | Ria Novosti | Getty Images
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India hopes to roll out a new goods and services tax (GST) in 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday in a speech to Indian and German businesses that played up the attractiveness of investing in Asia's third-largest economy.

The GST, currently blocked in parliament, was one of a range of business-friendly measures highlighted by Modi in a speech in tech hub Bengaluru, in southern India, during a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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The GST seeks to streamline India's tax administration by replacing a myriad of complex taxes charged by the 29 states with a uniform nationwide levy

Modi also said his government was speeding up regulatory clearances, reducing licensing requirements in the defence sector and making tax policy more consistent.

"We have articulated very clearly that we will not resort to retrospective taxation," Modi said.