Trying to broker a peace between an adamant Union Finance Minister and the restive pack of cooperators connected with co-operative banks Jyotindrabhai Mehta, Sahakar Bharati President and Nafcub Director has suggested a way out. To begin with, Mehta wants the govt to bring co-op banks in the ambit of corporates with a 50 crore turnover.
This Mehta said to Jaitley in the RSS coordination meeting of its affiliates in Delhi in which both Amit Shah and Jaitley participated. Mehta said there are just 57 scheduled banks in the co-op sector and a large majority of close to a thousand unscheduled banks face an issue of raising capital. It would be logical if co-op banks have to pay just as much of income tax as corporates with a Rs 50 crore turnover do, Mehta argued.
Explaining further to this correspondent Mehta said while co-op banks have to pay 30% income tax plus surcharge plus cess, Corporates with a Rs 50 cr turnover have to just pay 25%.
Another cooperator who argued on this line and was carried in these columns earlier was Anand Gokul Bakshi of Prime Cooperative Bank, Surat. He said “we can request rationalization of the tax rate, maybe what is applicable to companies having a turnover of less than 50 Cr. i.e. 25% tax slab. There are vital issues like covering co-op banks under securitization or SARFESIA which should be represented and followed up, Bakshi summed up.
But majority of cooperators connected with cooperative banks and urban cooperative banks have reacted with a shock at Arun Jaitley’s statement.
Indian Cooperative desk was flooded with strong-worded reactions against the govt stand. While Laxmi Das, Chairman, Delhi Urban Cooperative Bank Federation said we find the decision of the central government incomprehensible as cooperative banks are working for the welfare of the poor people, William L D’Souza of Model Cooperative Bank said the government should think about us and give us some additional benefits because the cooperative banking sector is the only sector which exists in rural areas catering to the needs of the multitude.