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...Matching economic logic with political realities often creates a Frankenstein that leaves both economists and political scientists nodding their heads in disbelief. The goods and services tax (GST) in India is, unfortunately, turning out to be such an exercise. The GST is supposed to be a uniform and comprehensive indirect tax levy for goods and services. Globally, GST and value-added tax (VAT) are often interchangeably used because globally indirect taxes are not as fragmented as in India. We have very strong silos institutionally defined. Thus, when India adopted VAT, it was only for manufacturing (goods), which was further divided into state-level VAT and central-level VAT, depending on who had tax jurisdiction over which manufacturing process. Service tax, introduced in 1994 and now an important revenue source (given the rapid rise of the service sector) is completely controlled by the centre. ...Live Mint on Nov. 9, 2016, 1:54 a.m.