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GST to make exports more competitive, says Nirmala Sitharaman

Implementation of GST, the new indirect tax regime, would help remove barriers between the states and make exports more competitive, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said.

"GST (Goods and Services Tax) gives a feeling that market in India is one now and there are no barriers between regions or provinces.

"Even within the country, the value chains which will get integrated, will have a simpler and straightforward flow (of goods) and therefore, it should make exports more competitive rather than expensive," she told reporters.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has indicated that GST would be rolled out from July 1. The new tax regime would subsume all indirect taxes like excise duty, sales tax and octroi.

When asked about the H1-B visa issue, she said that the US has conveyed that there is no change in the H1-B visa regime.

"The new US administration is focusing on the larger issue of immigration and the notification which they have given for H1-B for 2018 says there is no change in position and we find no change," she added.

As the US is a key market for the IT sector, India has time and again raised its concerns on the visa policy of America.

Last year, India dragged the US to the WTO's dispute settlement body against its decision to impose high fees on temporary working visas.

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