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21 May 2024

GIFT City Stamp Duty Exemption – All you Need to Know

21 May 2024
gift city stamp duty exemption


Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), situated in Gandhinagar, represents India’s pioneering stride into establishing an international financial services centre, envisioned by our Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Since its inauguration in late 2016, GIFT City has been a focal point for advancing India’s financial services on a global scale. Home to subsidiaries of major exchanges like the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange, this hub integrates a vast spectrum of financial activities, fostering substantial economic engagement.

The recent legislative amendment by the Gujarat government, aimed at enhancing GIFT City’s allure to financial entities, is a strategic move to solidify its status as a premier financial hub. Effective from March 30, 2020, as per the state government’s notification, there will be a full refund of stamp duty on stock transactions for broking firms that establish their registered offices within GIFT City. This policy shift follows the 2020 introduction of a uniform stamp duty rate of 0.2 percent by the Central government, aimed at standardizing the collection process across India, wherein the responsibility is vested in exchanges, clearing corporations, and depositories.

This new GIFT City Stamp Duty Exemption is designed to entice more broking companies to relocate to GIFT City, thereby increasing trading activities and leveraging the city’s state-of-the-art infrastructure. Brokers, especially those dealing predominantly in derivatives, stand to benefit significantly from this policy, as it potentially reduces operational costs associated with high-volume transactions. The exemption also complements other financial incentives in GIFT City, such as exemptions from Securities Transaction Tax (STT) and Commodity Transaction Tax (CTT), enhancing the city’s competitiveness as an International Financial Services Centre (IFSC). 

Moreover, this initiative is part of a broader set of incentives that include exemptions for emerging sectors like aircraft leasing, ship leasing, global in-house centres and provisions for significant capital investments, aiming to attract diverse business activities and stimulate job creation. The holistic approach taken by the Gujarat government underscores their commitment to transforming GIFT City into a global financial powerhouse and providing direct employment to thousands.


The Stamp Duty Exemption in India: A Closer Look

Stamp duty is an essential tax levied on various financial transactions and legal documents, playing a critical role in the regulatory framework of India’s financial markets. Historically, stamp duty rates differed from state to state, which sometimes led to businesses relocating to take advantage of lower rates. Recognizing the need for uniformity, the Indian government standardized stamp duty rates across all states in January 2020. This reform centralized the collection of stamp duty through exchanges, clearing corporations, and depositories, setting a uniform rate of 0.2 percent on all transactions to simplify the process and ensure consistency across the country.


Stamp Duty Exemption in GIFT City

The Gujarat government has introduced a stamp duty exemption specifically for broking firms operating within GIFT City. Announced on April 11, 2020, this policy refunds stamp duties on stock transactions for firms with registered offices in GIFT City, aiming to attract more financial services to this burgeoning hub. This move is part of broader efforts to enhance GIFT City’s appeal as a global financial district, providing competitive advantages such as tax holidays and other financial incentives.

This exemption is not only a significant draw for stock broking entities, particularly those dealing in high-frequency trading like derivatives. 

By eliminating stamp duty for capital market transactions GIFT City is being positioned as a highly attractive destination for domestic stock broking firms. 


Impact of the Stamp Duty Exemption in GIFT City

For Broking Firms

  • Advantages for Broking Firms Registering in GIFT City
    The stamp duty exemption provided by the Gujarat government offers a significant financial incentive for broking firms establishing their registered offices in GIFT City. By eliminating the stamp duty on stock transactions, these firms can enjoy reduced operational costs, which is particularly beneficial for those engaging in high-volume trading such as derivatives. This cost efficiency can make GIFT City a more attractive location for financial enterprises looking to maximize their profitability. 
  • Expected Shift of Brokerage Offices to GIFT City
    Anticipating the financial benefits, a considerable number of brokerage firms are expected to relocate their operations to GIFT City. This migration is driven by the prospect of substantial savings on transaction costs, which can accumulate to significant amounts, especially for firms with large-scale trading activities. The strategic relocation is not only financially prudent but also positions these firms within a rapidly growing international financial hub. 
  • Testimonials from Brokers on the Impact of the Exemption
    Brokers have expressed strong support for the stamp duty exemption, highlighting its role in reducing business expenses and enhancing operational efficiency.


For the Financial Sector in GIFT City

  • Enhanced Attractiveness of GIFT City as a Financial Hub
    The exemption from stamp duty contributes significantly to enhancing GIFT City’s attractiveness as a financial hub. By fostering a cost-effective trading environment, GIFT City is set to attract not only brokerage firms but also other financial services and fintech companies. This creates a competitive financial ecosystem conducive to innovation and growth, further establishing GIFT City’s reputation on the global financial 
  • Infrastructure and Development Initiatives
    Recent developments in GIFT City’s infrastructure, such as the establishment of advanced facilities like the International Mediation and Arbitration Centre, have made it an even more appealing location for financial firms. These facilities are designed to support the complex needs of global financial transactions and dispute resolutions, adding significant value to the services provided within GIFT City. 
  • Future Plans and Investments
    Looking ahead, GIFT City continues to expand with strategic plans that include further infrastructural enhancements and significant capital investments. These initiatives are expected to directly benefit financial services firms by providing sophisticated amenities and services tailored to the needs of global finance. The ongoing development aligns with GIFT City’s aim to become a leading international financial hub, mirroring established centers like Singapore and Dubai​​.


The Broader Economic Impact of GIFT City

On the Local Economy

  • Job Creation and Economic Growth within Gandhinagar and Surrounding Areas
    GIFT City’s development has significantly spurred job creation and economic growth in Gandhinagar and nearby areas. GIFT City has created a workforce of 26,000 professionals. The infrastructure and business opportunities provided by GIFT City have also fostered ancillary economic activities, boosting local industries such as hospitality, real estate, and retail​​. 
  • Investment Inflows into GIFT City
    The strategic initiatives and tax incentives offered by GIFT City have attracted a myriad of domestic and international investments. Notably, bonds worth USD 50 billion have already been listed on GIFT City IFSC exchanges, highlighting its effectiveness in drawing substantial financial engagements. The city’s focus on creating a conducive business environment is evident from the over 1,000 companies engaged through various international and domestic roadshows, showcasing GIFT City’s potential to global investors​.

On India’s Global Financial Standing

  • GIFT City’s Role in Enhancing India’s Position in the International Financial Market
    GIFT City is strategically positioned to boost India’s stature in the global financial markets. By offering a combination of advanced infrastructure, significant tax breaks, and a regulatory environment conducive to business, it attracts a concentration of financial services that contribute to India’s growing influence in international finance. This development supports India’s integration into the global financial system and helps position the country as a competitive player on the world stage​. 
  • Contributions to India’s Economic Strategy on a Global Scale
    The establishment of GIFT City aligns with broader economic reforms aimed at liberalizing and enhancing the competitiveness of India’s financial services sector. These reforms are part of India’s strategic efforts to attract foreign investment and diversify its economic base, which are crucial for India’s long-term economic growth and integration into the global economy. As a hub for international financial services, GIFT City plays a pivotal role in this strategy, contributing to India’s aspirations to become a global financial leader.



GIFT City, as India’s pioneering International Financial Services Centre, has made significant strides in establishing itself as a major player on both the national and international financial stages. Through strategic incentives such as stamp duty exemptions, robust infrastructural developments, and a comprehensive regulatory framework, GIFT City has successfully attracted a wide array of businesses and investments, fostering substantial economic growth and development.

Recap of Key Points:

  • Stamp Duty Exemption: This pivotal policy has significantly reduced operational costs for financial firms, especially those engaged in high-volume trading, enhancing GIFT City’s attractiveness as a financial hub.
  • Broader Financial Incentives: Beyond stamp duty, GIFT City offers various financial incentives including exemptions from Securities Transaction Tax (STT) and Commodities Transaction Tax (CTT), which further lower the cost of financial operations within the centre.
  • Infrastructure and Development Initiatives: State-of-the-art facilities like the International Mediation and Arbitration Centre and continuous infrastructural upgrades have equipped GIFT City to meet global standards and cater to international financial transactions.
  • Impact on Local Economy: The development of GIFT City has spurred job creation and economic growth within Gandhinagar and surrounding areas, significantly impacting local industries and improving living standards.
  • Global Financial Standing: GIFT City has contributed to enhancing India’s position in the international financial market, making it a competitive destination for global financial services and investments.

Future Outlook

Looking ahead, GIFT City is poised for continued growth and expansion. The focus on attracting more international businesses, coupled with India’s broader economic reforms, positions GIFT City as a critical gateway for global finance into India. With ongoing developments and a strategic focus on becoming a hub for new-age financial and technology services, GIFT City is expected to play a crucial role in shaping India’s financial future.

The implications of these developments are profound, promising not only to bolster India’s economic growth but also to enhance its strategic position in global financial networks. As GIFT City continues to evolve, it stands as a testament to India’s commitment to fostering innovation and excellence in financial services on a global scale.

Posted by
Treelife at GIFT City
Last updated on
May 21, 2024, 6:48pm


The content of this article is for information purpose only and does not constitute advice or a legal opinion and are personal views of the author. It is based upon relevant law and/or facts available at that point of time and prepared with due accuracy & reliability. Readers are requested to check and refer to relevant provisions of statute, latest judicial pronouncements, circulars, clarifications etc. before acting on the basis of the above write up. The possibility of other views on the subject matter cannot be ruled out. By the use of the said information, you agree that the Author / Treelife is not responsible or liable in any manner for the authenticity, accuracy, completeness, errors or any kind of omissions in this piece of information for any action taken thereof.

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