Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Brokers want Government to suspend STT to boost Markets

Faced with increased volatility and dwindling volumes on bourses, stock brokers are suggesting suspension of the Securities Transaction Tax (STT) the collection for which has shrunk by more than 15 per cent during the first eight months of the current financial year.

"The government should at least suspend securities transaction tax for a year. This will encourage market participants to take their position aggressively. The sentiment of the market will improve as the volume will increase," Bonanza Portfolio President Research P K Agarwal said.

The STT, levied on share transactions at 0.125 per cent of the total value, declined to Rs 4,156 crore during April-November 2008, down 15.42 per cent during the corresponding period last year, mainly on account of reduced capitalisation in the India securities market.

Indian stock markets have suffered immensely on account of withdrawal of funds by the Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) with Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex declining from a high of over 21,000 to less than 8,000 points.

The turmoil in the market had an adverse impact on the turnover from the national stock exchange. It reduced to Rs 1,73,123 crore in November from Rs 4,47,138 crore in January, when the market was at its peak.

The total equity turnover from the Bombay Stock Exchange also declined to Rs 63,571.11 crore in November from Rs 1,85,622.78 crore in January.

"Removal of securities transaction tax will be a very good option but even if the government goes back to the earlier position (when it was used for tax deduction rather than as expense at the current level), it will be a big boost to the market," SMC Global Securities VP and head research Rajesh Jain said.