The Union finance ministry had a meeting with top bankers and heads of other financial institutions on Thursday, to know their expectations from the Union Budget.
Minister Arun Jaitley expressed concern over the credit growth, down year-on-year to 10 per cent, with public sector banks recording a growth of 7.9 per cent. Deposit growth is also down from a year before, to 12.9 per cent as of September 2014.
Among those attending were Urjit Patel, deputy governor of the Reserve Bank; Arundhati Bhattacharya, head of State Bank of India; S K Roy, head of Life Insurance Corporation; T M Bhasin, chairman of Indian Banks’ Association (IBA); Shikha Sharma, managing director of Axis Bank; Aditya Puri, MD of HDFC Bank; Pramit Jhaveri, chief executive, Citibank India; and Y M Deosthalee, chairman, L&T Finance Holdings.
Major suggestions included promoting digital and plastic payment with a one per cent credit incentive and exemption from service tax. Also, digitisation at agricultural credit societies, measures to boost credit growth, uniform stamp duty for mortgages and early settlement of disputes.
“We have pitched for an increase in taxable income from beyond the Rs 1.5 lakh limit and further segregation in the 80C (income tax section) basket. Also, bank fixed deposit lock-in should be reduced from five years to three years,” said Bhasin of IBA.
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