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Urban co-op banks to strike work on May 12

Written by: Staff

Ahmedabad, May 9 (UNI) The urban co-operative banks (UCBs) in the country for the first time will observe a day-long token strike on May 12 to protest against the withdrawal of Income-Tax exemption under Section 80(P).

Leaders of National Federation of Urban Co-operative Banks and Credit Societies (NAFCUB), besides leaders of state federations, have proposed to present a memorandum of their demands to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the capital the same day.

Even as Gujarat Urban Co-operative Banks Federation (GUCBF) has taken the lead, its counterparts in Maharashtra (MUCBF), Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have lent support.

Addressing a joint news conference here today, leaders of NAFCUB, GUCBF, MUCBF and others voiced serious concern at Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram's last budget proposal to withdraw I-T exemptions to UCBs.

''Mr Chidamabarm's action smacks of prejudice against UCBs in his preference for foreign banks. If the Centre went ahead with the measure, it would sure sound the death knell for the UCBs,'' all said in unison.

They said: ''The step would fetch the government about Rs 450 crore from all over the country, which would be a peanut when compared to the Centre's total kitty. But, snatching away one-third of the pre-provisioning profit as tax would dealt severe blow to a sector with a wide base of SMEs, and many in the tiny sector.'' GUCBF Chairman Dollar Kotecha said the UCBs enjoyed I-T exemptions because of their several obligations.

There are 1,875 urban co-operative banks in the country, out of which hardly 1,000 are profit-making, while 1,200 have deposits of less than Rs 25 crore each. There are over 700 branches of 300 UCBs in Gujarat alone.


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