Protest against governments decision to impose income tax on cooperative banks
January, 28th 2015
Taking a tough stand against the Union government for imposing income tax on cooperative banks, Governor Vajubhai Vala has called upon the people working in cooperative banks to raise their voice demanding the withdrawal of the decision.
“If you don’t raise your voice now against income tax, the day is not far when the government will impose service tax also on cooperative banks, ” he said.
Speaking after inaugurating the centenary celebration of Sri Siddeshwara Cooperative Bank here on Tuesday, he said earning profit was not the objective of cooperative banks, but to serve people, mainly the marginal section of society for their economic stability.
“The government must understand this and should not impose any kind of tax on cooperative banks. If tax is imposed, then the money that is supposed to go to the poor, would go to government, which should not happen,” Mr. Vala said.
I urged the people not to vote for the government in the next election that does not withdraw the decision, he said. Appealing to both, Union and State governments to support cooperative banks, he said that no doubt the government should keep vigil over the functioning of the cooperative banks, but should not frame laws that adversely affect the sector per se.
Mr. Vala regretted that only a few States such as Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat have cooperative banks. The Governor noted that it was not the scheduled banks that offer small loans to poor or middle class people, but the cooperative banks that help the economically weaker sections of society to be self reliant.
He also cautioned people in cooperative banks not to bring in politics and work with the sole objective of serving the people.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his cabinet colleagues M.B. Patil, S.R. Patil, H.S. Mahadev Prasad, Umashree and MLAs were present.
Stating that cooperative banks have responsibility in bringing economic stability in society, Mr. Vala asserted that cooperatives banks should not give loans only to those who seek money, but should identify needy people for offering loan.
“Cooperative banks should treat the poor as God,” he said.
Noting that the Cooperative sector has great potential in reviving the economy, Mr. Vala gave the example of Verghese Kurien, popularly known as the milkman of India, who brought about a revolution in the dairy sector and helped innumerable people in Gujarat to gain financial stability.
“Today, people involved in the dairy sector earn more than the farmers and most of them are women. This is the result of the efforts of Mr. Kurien’s cooperative movement,” the Governor said.
Having been associated with Nagarik Cooperative Bank, Rajkot, Gujarat for over two decades, Mr. Vala said that the bank has made the rule that that it waives off interest on the loan, if the loan borrower dies.
If the loan borrower is poor, then the bank offers financial aid to the family for performing the last rites of the deceased.
“This is our social commitment and this should be the objective of all cooperative banks,” he said.
Speaking after inaugurating the centenary celebration of the Sri Siddeshwara Cooperative Bank here on Tuesday, Governor Vajubhai Vala appreciated the Siddaramaiah government for giving Rs. 4 per litre incentive to milk producers of the State. Mr. Vala said that by giving the incentive, the government was helping the family members of the farmers.
Stating that banks should adopt modern technology in its functioning, the governor praised the Congress government for launching the ‘Mobile-One’ service for getting details of all schemes on the mobile phone. “ This is the classic example of implementation of modern technology in government works,” he said.