The government’s plans to have a uniform duty structure for stock market transactions may fructify soon, with the finance ministry planning to table the Indian Stamps Act (Amendment) Bill), 2011, in the coming session of Parliament.
A finance ministry official said comments had been received on the draft and most state governments were on board. The Bill would be sent to the Cabinet for its approval this month, the official added.
Under the proposed regime, stamp duty will be collected by stock exchanges from the seller and then passed on to the states where the seller is based. Against the current practice of different stamp duty rates in states on stock market transactions, the finance ministry is planning to propose a uniform rate of 0.003 per cent on futures and options trading. For currency derivatives, it is considering a rate of 0.0001 per cent.
Though stamp duty on stock market transactions is formally a state subject, many states have adopted the Indian Stamps Act. The states will have to agree to the proposals to give effect to a uniform rate.
To give some relief to stock market investors, the finance ministry is also considering a cut in the securities transaction tax (STT). It may finally decide while preparing the Budget in February.“The intent is to rationalise STT and synchronise it with developed countries,” said the official, adding 30-40 per cent could be considered.