Public sector bank chiefs raise concerns over GST at meeting with Jaitley

public sector bank concern gst

Top honchos of public sector banks on Monday conveyed their concerns to the government about the design of the proposed dual Goods and Services Tax (GST) system.

Emerging out of an hour-long meeting that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley held with chief executives of top PSBs at North Block here, Financial Services Secretary Anjuly Chib Duggal said that the issue of bad assets was discussed at the meeting.

Bankers also raised issues relating to the banking sector under the goods and services tax.

The recent demonetisation exercise and the surge in bank deposits in last three months had placed the banks in a difficult situation in deployment of funds with credit offtake still being sluggish in the economy.

One of the thorny issues for banks in the proposed GST regime is the requirement of registration at every branch location.

While banks are not averse to a single registration in the State where their head office/registered office is located, it was conveyed that mandatory registration in each of the States where branches are located may be a cumbersome task on the compliance front, sources said.

Even insurance service providers, especially those in the private sector, are faced with the challenge of multiple registrations with various State Governments for GST purposes.

However, their demands for single central registration have been received muted response from the policymakers.

Among the bank chief executives who attended today’s meeting include SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya, PNB’S Managing Director and CEO Usha Ananthasubramanian, PS Jayakumar, MD and CEO, Bank of Baroda, and Indian Banks’ Association Chief Rajiv Rishi. Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor R Gandhi also attended the meeting, sources said. Sources said that bankers also discussed the issue of pay revision and gratuity to employees of public sector banks.

Conciliatory meeting

Meanwhile, all eyes are on the Chief Labour Commissioner who has on Tuesday called for a conciliatory meeting between bank managements and unions as regards the proposed national strike call given by bank employees for February 28.

The Hindu Business Line, 20 February 2017

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