New Delhi, December 29, 2017

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday told the Lok Sabha that the government was not going give any income tax exemption to profit-making cooperative banks as they functioned like profit-making commercial banks.

"Income tax is a tax on profits and there is no rationale for exempting profit-making cooperative banks from payment of income tax," he said during the Question Hour.

Jaitley said most of these banks provided standard banking facilities like opening of letters of credit, bill discounting and collection, lockers and safe deposit vaults and bank guarantees.

The finance minister also ruled out any fiscal stimulus in the coming days to pump prime the economy.

He disagreed with critics that demonetisation has had any impact on the economic slowdown in the first quarter of 2017-18 fiscal.

Jaitley said all indicators showed the growth curve to be onan upward swing in coming quarters.

He said there were definite indications that the GDP growth will revive in the coming quarters.

"Economic growth of a country depends on a number of factors including structural, external, fiscal and monetary factors. Lower rate of global economy in 2016, along with a reduction in gross fixed investment to GDP ratio, stressed balance sheets of the corporate sector and lower credit growth to industry sector are some of the reasons for somewhat lower growth in 2016-17," he said.

He said despite the slowdown in 2016-17, India was the fastest growing major economy in 2016 and second fastest growing major economy in 2017 in the world.

[The Deccan Herald]