Gender Impacts of Revenue Collection in India

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Studies on gendersensitive budgeting have concentrated on the expenditure side of government budgets. Through a case study from India, Nirmala Banerjee explores the other side of the budget – taxes and other means of raising revenue. By highlighting the relative effects of changes in taxation policy on men and on women this study will help to raise awareness of gender among those responsible for planning the tax system, in India and elsewhere.



The Structure of Governance

The GOI – officially referred to as the Union Government – is the governing body of a federal union of 28 states (each with its own elected government) and seven union, i.e. centrally administered, territories. The system of governance was initially designed to have two tiers, the Union and the states; however, in 1992, Parliament passed the 73rd and 74th amendments to the Constitution to set up and constitutionally recognise a third tier of government at local levels: panchayets in rural areas and municipal bodies in urban areas.3 Each state in its turn was authorised to create further two or three tiers within local governments to facilitate greater decentralisation of functions. Now, besides the GOI and the state governments, India has around a quarter of a million local governments.


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