Budget 2022: Banks seek tax sops for contact-intensive industries, higher housing loan rebates from govt

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Budget 2022: Banks seek tax sops for contact-intensive industries, higher housing loan rebates from govt
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Banks have requested the government to consider tax sops for contact-intensive industries impacted by the pandemic amid worries of stress build-up after the third wave ahead of the Union Budget next month. Hospitality, aviation, travel and tourism among other sectors have been the most adversely impacted by the spread of coronavirus, said bankers CNBC-TV18 spoke to, adding that any relief to them would be most welcome.

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“We have asked for the government to consider giving some tax sops to the contact intensive sectors, especially hospitality sector. If no support is given to some of these sectors, they will slip into NPAs,” explained a senior banker in the know.

This person added that the Indian Banks Association has submitted a list of considerations for the government ahead of the union budget. This also includes a higher tax concession for housing loans.

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Also Read: Union Budget 2022 session schedule announced: Check date, time, key details

“The tax concession on home loans today is very low. Home prices have also gone up over the years, and a re-look is needed, this will also help with credit demand for home loans,” said a banking executive who did not wish to be quoted.

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The IBA has once again brought up the issue of bringing down the lock-in period for fixed deposits (FDs) from five years to three years to be eligible for tax breaks to make FDs more competitive products. “We have been asking for this 3-year FD issue for a long time, and have brought it up again this year. Let us see if it is considered,” said one of the bankers quoted earlier.

Additionally, banks have also sought tax incentives for spending on ‘public good’ activities like financial inclusion and the promotion of digital banking. The banks association also raised the issue of parity in taxation for foreign and domestic banks. Foreign banks mostly operate through branches in India and are charged a corporate tax rate of 40 percent, and additional surcharges and cess. Domestic banks, on the other hand, are charged 22 percent corporate tax, and surcharge and cess. “This has been highlighted to the finance ministry earlier also. Hopefully, this budget may address the issue,” said a senior banker.

Also Read: Budget 2022: Reduce GST on two-wheelers and used cars, says FADA

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman is set to present the Union Budget 2022 on February 1. The finance minister has already held a series of pre-budget meetings with heads of corporate and financial sectors.

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