India Moves One Step Closer to Landmark Tax Reform

TORONTO, March 30, 2017 /CNW/ - India has taken a crucial step towards implementing its Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill which has a rollout date of July 1, 2017, after the Lower House of Parliament approved four supplementary legislations aimed at simplifying the country's current tax system. Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the passage of the bill saying, "[It is a] new year, [and a] new law, [for a] new India"

The four tranches of the bill – Central GST, Integrated GST, GST Compensation, and Union Territories GST – officially passed on March 29, 2017, and once implemented, they will remove multiple layers of taxes that millions of Indians are now subjected to, while also significantly improving the ease of doing business for multinational corporations looking to set up operations in India.

"The stars are aligning for India at the moment," says Bhim D. Asdhir, President and CEO of Excel Funds Management Inc. "Not only is the Indian stock market among the best-performing so far this year, but additional catalysts, such as the passage of the GST bill, are falling into place that will ultimately boost growth even further. This is a great victory for the Narendra Modi administration and a great time to be investing in India."

Excel Funds offers three unique products that are focused on tapping into India's remarkable growth story. The Excel India Fund, which is the largest and longest-running, India-specific mutual fund in Canada; the Excel New India Leaders Fund, a unique strategy that invests in small and mid-cap stocks in India; and the Excel India Balanced Fund, one of the only mutual funds in Canada that offers exposure to Indian fixed-income.

The Indian equity market has over 7,200 names, and Excel Funds is able to provide Canadians with direct access to some of the best securities within this universe by leveraging the investment expertise of Birla Sun Life Asset Management Company Limited ("Birla Sun Life"). "This is how we are able to generate alpha for our investors and outperform other passive strategies such as ETFs," notes Mr. Asdhir.

Birla Sun Life is headquartered in Mumbai, India and manages over US$25 billion in total assets.1

India's Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley also talked up the significance of the four GST-related bills saying, "Today you have [a] tax on tax [system], you have a cascading effect. When all of that is removed, goods will become slightly cheaper." This is an important part of the equation as it demonstrates that the bill is designed to benefit consumers, which are largely the engine of the Indian economy. Arun Jaitley had previously pointed out that once the GST bill is fully in place, it could potentially boost India's GDP growth rate by as much as 2 percent.2

To learn more about investing in India with Excel Funds click here.

About Excel Funds Management Inc.

Excel Funds Management Inc. is an award-winning fund manager that specializes in emerging markets investing. Founded in 1998 with the launch of the Excel India Fund, the largest and longest-running India-focused mutual fund in Canada, Excel Funds has become a true leader in the emerging markets investment space by offering a wide-range of innovative investment products that capture new growth opportunities.

Leveraging a best-in-class investment team and an unrivalled network of sub-advisers, Excel Funds has access to the knowledge base of over 500 local portfolio managers and 200 analysts around the world. Its on-the-ground sub-advisers and proprietary asset allocation models contribute to the firm being recognized as "The Authority in Emerging Markets".

1 Birla Sun Life Asset Management Company Limited data, as at December 31, 2016.
2 Bloomberg Business, What's The Big Deal About India's Goods and Services Tax? Q&A, August 2, 2016.

Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.

The information contained in this article is for informational and illustrative purposes only and is not intended to provide specific financial, investment, or other advice to you, and should not be acted or relied upon in that regard without seeking the advice of a professional. Particular investments or trading strategies should be evaluated relative to each individual.

SOURCE Excel Funds Management Inc.

For further information: Media & Information Contact: Caroline Grimont, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, (905) 624-7744, Caroline.grimont@excelfunds.com

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