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The Indian economy is expanding at a fast pace, boosting living standards and reducing poverty nationwide. But there is still a large inequality of living standards between rural and urban areas, and the rural areas are lagging behind.

The latest OECD Economic Survey of India published in February 2017 finds that the acceleration of structural reforms and the move toward a rule-based macro-economic policy framework are sustaining the country’s longstanding rapid economic expansion.

The Survey hails India’s recent growth rates of more than 7 per cent annually as the strongest among G20 countries. It identifies priority areas for future action, including continuing plans to maintain macroeconomic stability and further reduce poverty, additional comprehensive tax re-forms and new efforts to boost productivity and reduce disparities between India’s various regions.

The implementation of the landmark GST (Goods and Services Tax) reform will contribute to mak-ing India a more integrated market. By reducing tax cascading, it will boost competitiveness, in-vestment and job creation. The GST reform - designed to be initially revenue-neutral - should be complemented by a reform of income and property taxes, the Survey said.

The Survey points out the need to make income and property taxes more growth-friendly and re-distributive.

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