The government stand not to offer IT exemption to co-op banks had senior cooperator Vidyadhar V. Anaskar, Vice-President of Nafcub bristling with anger and asking “if the government considers cooperative banks to be on a par with commercial banks then why it favors the latter with additional benefits.”
It bears recall that Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently said in Lok Sabha that Cooperative banks are no different from commercial banks and the former therefore are required to be treated on a par with the latter.
“Earlier the government had appreciated the financial inclusion work being done by Cooperative Banks. That is why the govt attitude of benign neglect towards cooperative banks defies logic” asked Anaskar.
Our objective is not to earn profits but to cater to the needs of the weaker sections of society. If the government denies us income tax exemption then it should not ask us to get involved in implementing various government welfare schemes for the poor people and give us the benefits it does for PSUs and Commercial Banks, he argued.
There are around 507 Urban Cooperative Banks in Maharashtra out of a total 1579 UCBs in India. Anaskar is the Chairman of state ucbs’ federation.
Yuri Domnic Gonsalves, acting Chairman of Bassein Catholic Cooperative Bank also slammed the Minister for his stand. “It is lamentable that the government is not supporting the cooperative sector. However, it is worth a mention that we are paying around Rs 30 crore taxes’, Gonsalves said.
If the government helps us with Income Tax exemption, we could use the amount thus saved on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), he promised.
Commercial banks can give housing loan up to 2-3 crore but we cannot give home loans exceeding extended Rs 75 Lakh. We will ask Maharashtra Urban Cooperative Bank federation to draft a proposal and present it before the government, Gonsalves listed his demands.
As an exception P.S.Pathania, Managing Director, Janata Cooperative Bank Limited, Delhi supported the move of Union Finance Minister. His take on the issue was “As far as the statement of Mr Jaitely ji is concerned I fully agree with him. If an individual (common man) does not have Income Tax exemption then why co-operative banks? he asked.