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Budget 2018: Don't blame LTCG tax for Sensex slippage, says Finance secy

Adhia said the 10 per cent tax on long-term capital gains (LTCG) is a 'subsidised rate'

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Hasmukh Adhia
Hasmukh Adhia

The sell-off in equity is due to a weak global sentiment and not beacause of long-term capital gains tax announced in the budget, Finance Secretary said today.

Adhia said the 10 per cent tax on long term capital gains (LTCG) is a "subsidised rate" as such gains on sale of unlisted scrips and immovable property are taxed at 20 per cent.

"It is very unfortunate that our move came in at wrong time because of global also going down. There is a strong connection of all equity The MSCI all country index of equity went down by 3.4 per cent in last week, especially on Thursday Friday, Adhia said a post-meet organised by industry body CII.

"If the entire world index has gone down by 3.4 per cent, naturally it would have a ripple effect on Indian stock also. It is not effect," he said.

The benchmark stock indices and today dropped up to 1.6 per cent in morning trade, continuing their decline for a third session on heavy profit booking by investors.

The Indian stock was no exception to global which also suffered losses of up to 2.4 per cent today after deep correction in the US last week triggered by a sharp rise in Treasury yields.

The for 2018-19 imposed a 10 per cent tax on LTCG of over Rs 1 lakh made on sale of shares from April 1. However, all gains made up to January 31, 2018, have been grandfathered -- meaning no tax will be imposed till that date.

"LTCG effect because we have grandfathered it should not be there. Why should anybody do a distressed sell now, because we have grandfathered, there is no hurry to sell.

"There is nothing that you are going to lose by selling it immediately. So it's not the effect of LTCG tax, it is the overall index of the equity which has changed in other countries of world," Adhia said.

Adhia, who is also the revenue secretary, said the income of the government from Securities Transaction Tax (STT) is a paltry Rs 9,000 crore.

"In equity there are more number of short term capital gains transactions, so income of Rs 9,000 is mostly from short term transaction," he said.

Currently, India imposes a 15 per cent tax on short-term capital gains made of sale of shares within a year of purchase. However, gains made after a year of purchase is exempt from the levy.

The 2018-19 has reintroduced the provision of taxing long-term capital gains after a gap of 14 years.

Meanwhile, explaining the reason behind imposition of LTCG, the government said that exempting such income from tax was inherently biased against manufacturing and encouraged diversion of investment to financial assets.

First Published: Mon, February 05 2018. 21:09 IST
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