Delhi: Finance minister P Chidambaram today said that
the fringe benefit tax (FBT) on employee stock options
(ESOPs) proposed in the union budget would be payable
by the company and would also apply to the ESOPs not cashed.
response to a query whether the company or the employee
would be required to pay FBT on ESOPs, he said, "it
is a fringe benefit and obviously it will be on the company."
if ESOPs that may have been granted before the budget
but remained unencashed, the FM said, "Of course,
it will. The gain is taxed only when the ESOP is exercised.
When the ESOP is not exercised, there is no gain at all."
strongly defended his budgetary proposals for FY2007-08,
shrugging-off criticism saying, "I don't think one
should get too despondent about criticism or get too flattered
by praise. One should take both in stride."
said that the corporate sector gets an unduly large share
of coverage in the visual media and the print media, but
not the the physically challenged who have been promised
a hundred thousand jobs.