New Delhi: Government on Friday launched the Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme (RGESS) which was announced by the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in his 2012-13 budget speech.
According to Finance Minister P Chidambaram, "the scheme not only encourages the flow of savings and improves the depth of domestic capital markets, but also aims to promote an 'equity culture' in India. This is also expected to widen the retail investor base in the Indian securities markets".Let us have a look at the key facts about the Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme
1) The scheme is open to new retail investors, identified on the basis of their PAN numbers. This includes those who have opened the Demat account but have not made any transaction in equity and/or in derivatives till the date of notification of this scheme and all those account holders other than the first account holder who wish to open a fresh account.
2) The maximum investment permissible under the Scheme is Rs 50,000 and the investor would get a 50 percent deduction of the amount invested from the taxable income for that year. To benefit the small investors, the investments are allowed to be made in installment in the year in which tax claims are made.
3) Under the scheme, those stocks listed under the BSE 100 or CNX 100, or those of public sector undertakings which are Navratnas, Maharatnas and Miniratnas would be eligible. Follow-on public offers (FPOs) of the above mentioned companies would also be eligible under the scheme. IPOs of PSUs, which are getting listed in the relevant financial year and whose annual turnover is not less than Rs 4000 crore for each of the immediate past three years, would also be eligible.
4) Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and Mutual Funds (MFs) that have RGESS eligible securities as their underlying and are listed and traded in the stock exchanges and settled through a depository mechanism have also been brought under RGESS.
5) The total lock-in period for investments under the scheme would be three years, including an initial blanket lock-in period of one year, commencing from the date of last purchase of securities under RGESS.
6) After the first year, investors would be allowed to trade in the securities in furtherance of the goal of promoting an equity culture and as a provision to protect them from adverse market movements or stock specific risks as well as to give them avenues to realize profits.
7) Investors would, however, be required to maintain their level of investment during these two years at the amount for which they have claimed income tax benefit or at the value of the portfolio before initiating a sale transaction, whichever is less, for at least 270 days in a year.
8) The calculation of 270 days includes those days pursuant to the day on which the market value of the residual shares/units has automatically touched the stipulated value after the date of debit.
9) For the purpose of valuation of shares, the closing price as on the previous day of the date of trading will be considered so that new investors are certain about their debits and credits into the account. In case the investor fails to meet the conditions stipulated, the tax benefit will be withdrawn.