While mostly appreciating the announcements of the Union Budget introduced in the Parliament by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday Sahakar Bharati President Jyotindra Mehta thinks there is still time left for the Minister to heed demands of the co-operative sector.
“I am still hopeful FM would pay heed to our demands as there are still 15-20 days of debates to take place in the House before the final budget is passed”, said Mehta to Indian Cooperative.
While lauding the provision of 1.5 times MSP for all crops, Mehta said he was disappointed on the issue of income tax rebate for co-operatives. ”They should at least bring down the income tax rate to 25 per cent for co-operatives as they have done in the case of corporates”, demanded Mehta.
However, Sahakar Bharati President is hopeful and his hope arises from the fact that the Finance Minister introduced 80P for farmer producer companies having a turnover not exceeding Rs 100 crore.
“The idea of producer companies was first mooted by Verghese Kurien but the govt of the day never encouraged it; I am happy at this govt’s encouragement to the idea. It at least signals the beginning of IT rebate for co-ops like companies. The day is not far off when co-ops would also be extended this benefit”, Mehta underlined.
“Producer companies are registered under the company act but have features of co-operatives such as one head-one vote; it is also member driven like co-operatives”, explained Mehta. Indian Cooperative has gathered that several multistate co-ops already have their subsidiaries under the act and they are now going to derive benefits from this.
Sahakar Bharati President was, however, full of praise for the health protection scheme, relief for senior citizens and standard deduction for honest tax payers that were announced in the budget.
Mehta also underlined that this is the first time in the history of India that a policy on Minimum Support Price was announced in the budget. This initiative cannot be jettisoned even by govts in future, he said explaining its far-reaching impact.