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Cooperatives that start manufacturing activities before March 31, 2024, to benefit from lower tax rate of 15%

New Delhi, February 1, 2023 

Centre to set up massive decentralised storage capacity to help farmers store their produce and realise remunerative prices through sale at appropriate times

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced new initiatives for the cooperative sector in her 2023-24 Union Budget speech. The Minister stated that new cooperatives that commence manufacturing activities before March 31, 2024, shall get the benefit of a lower tax rate of 15%, as is presently available to new manufacturing companies.

“Secondly, I propose to provide an opportunity to sugar cooperatives to claim payments made to sugarcane farmers for the period prior to assessment year 2016-17 as expenditure. This is expected to provide them with a relief of almost ₹10,000 crore,” the Minister said.

She announced a higher limit of ₹2 lakh per member for cash deposits to and loans in cash by Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS) and Primary Cooperative Agriculture and Rural Development Banks (PCARDBs) adding that a higher limit of ₹3 crore for Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) on cash withdrawal is being provided to cooperative societies.

She said that for small and marginal farmers, and other marginalised sections, the government is promoting cooperative-based economic development model. A new Ministry of Cooperation was formed in 2021. The government has already initiated computerisation of 63,000 PACS with an investment of ₹2,516 crore. In consultation with all stakeholders and States, model bye-laws for PACS were formulated enabling them to become multipurpose PACS. A national cooperative database is being prepared for countrywide mapping of cooperative societies.

“With this backdrop, we will implement a plan to set up massive decentralised storage capacity. This will help farmers store their produce and realise remunerative prices through sale at appropriate times. The government will also facilitate setting up of a large number of multipurpose cooperative societies, primary fishery societies and dairy cooperative societies in uncovered panchayats and villages in the next 5 years,” she said.

Lauding the efforts, Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah said on Twitter that the decentralised storage capacity will play an important role in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s resolve to increase the income of farmers.

“With the plan to set up the world’s largest decentralised storage capacity in the budget, farmers associated with cooperative societies will be able to store and sell their produce at the right time and get a fair price,” Mr. Shah said.

[The Hindu]

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