Google CEO Pichai, Walmart India’s Iyer hail GST bill as ‘game-changing reform’

Chief executives of tech giant Google and Indian arm of the American retail giant Walmart have hailed the the goods and services tax (GST) bill, calling it “game changing reform”.

The GST regime, ready to kick off on July 1, will ease business barriers and help bring down prices of essential commodities in the long run, Walmart India CEO Krish Iyer said, after attending Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s , CEOs roundtable conference in the US on Sunday.

“We reiterated our commitment to India. We talked about the various things we do in terms of global sourcing, global technology center and the work that we do in the space of farmer’s and women’s economic empowerment,” Iyer told ANI.

On GST, he said, “I believe that GST is a game changing reform. It is not just a tax reform but is a new way of doing business which will remove a lot of barriers which exist in the country and will eventually help in bringing down the prices of essential commodities.”

GST is claimed to be India’s biggest tax reform that will subsume 15 different central and state levies. The GST Council has finalised four slabs under which almost all the commodities and services will be taxed, thus eliminating the cascading effect of the present taxation system.

This is expected to make taxation more transparent, formalise economy and accelerate its growth. The government has assured that the reform will not be inflationary.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai too expressed ‘excitement’ towards the roll-out of the new tax regime. “We are all looking forward to the July 1st roll out. I know it has been a very difficult thing to do so I’m excited to see it happen. Shows that you can achieve reform by pushing hard for it and I hope it is just the beginning,” he told ANI.

At the conference with the business honchos, the Indian Prime Minister said the whole world is looking at India today, and that its growth also presents a win-win partnership for the United States.

Among other CEOs at the conference were Apple’s Tim Cook, Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Alex Gorsky, chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, and Walmart CEO Doug McMillon.