State favours income tax exemption for cooperative institutions

Minister for Cooperation S.T. Somashekar said here on Wednesday that he will meet the new Union Minister for Cooperation Amit Shah in Delhi later this month and request him to exempt the cooperative institutions from paying income tax.

Addressing presspersons, the Minister said that the Union government, led by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), had imposed income tax on profit earned by cooperative institutions. It is coming in the way of the growth of cooperative institutions nurtured by cooperatives. Instead of paying income tax, profit-making cooperative institutions can pay dividend to its members who are the backbone of cooperative bodies. He will appeal to the Union government to do away with the system of paying income tax and revert to the old system as many a cooperative institution is operating on no-loss no-profit basis.

Mr. Somashekar said that a software will be developed to link the apex bank, district central cooperative banks and primary agricultural credit cooperative societies (PACCS) in the State. The Union government will share 60% of the total cost of the project and the State will bear balance of the cost. The State has reserved about ₹198 crore for the proposed project. When these three categories of cooperative institutions are linked, it will be easier to know all details on disbursement of loans, recoveries and other payments.

In addition to the apex bank, there are 21 district central cooperative banks and 5,400 PACCS in the State.

Earlier, the Minister participated in a function organised by South Canara District Central Cooperative (SCDCC) Bank to disburse various types of loans, including those for fishermen and self-help groups.

The SCDCC Bank also launched an initiative to exempt the kin of its loanees who have died due to COVID-19 from re-paying loan amount to an extent of ₹1 lakh. According to the bank, as many as 154 of its loanees have died due to COVID-19 in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi.

Minister in-charge of Dakshina Kannada Kota Srinivasa Poojary and chairman of SCDCC Bank M.N. Rajendra Kumar spoke.

Mr. Somashekar also laid the foundation stone for constructing a wholesale market for selling fruits and vegetables in the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Yard at Baikampady.

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