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Palaniappan Chidambaram

Minister of Finance, India

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Source: World Economic Forum

Chidambaram took over from Pranab Mukherjee as finance minister in July, he was no stranger to the position, having previously served in the role on two separate occasions.

That is not to say, though, that Chidambaram had an easy job on his hands. In the first few months of his third stint as finance minister, Chidambaram has taken the lead on a whole host of pressing issues.

He has commissioned fellow Top 50 member Parthasarathi Shome to lead an expert committee looking into two issues: the validity and appropriateness of the retroactive legislative amendment on indirect transfers and the suitability of an Indian general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR). And he has also raised the question as to whether the Direct Taxes Code (DTC) is in need of a rethink.

“The new income tax slabs that I had implemented in the 1997-1998 budget, the three rates of 10%, 20% and 30% for individuals and the rate of 30% for corporates have, much to my surprise, survived several governments and three finance ministers,” said Chidambaram about his influence on the Indian tax system.

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