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ELSS funds are a good bet

Jun 7, 2000

Equity-linked savings scheme (ELSS) have been riding the recent rally in the stock markets like other growth funds. Investors looking out for some tax efficiency in their investments could look at ELSS schemes. Equity-linked savings schemes are eligible for 20% rebate under section 88 of the Income Tax Act. This means that if an investor has invested Rs 10,000 in an ELSS, he is eligible for a rebate of Rs 2,000 on his taxable income. (However, tax on capital gains will apply nevertheless). Earlier ELSS were close-ended, which did not allow investors in these schemes an exit option till the maturity of the scheme. However, now ELSS are open-ended, but investors have to remain invested with the scheme for a lock-in period of 3 years.

NAV (Rs) Last
Magnum Taxgain 29.15 28.90% 0.30% 90.00% 19.30%
Birla Equity Plan 21.58 19.80% -6.10% 148.30% 92.30%
Tata Tax Savings 15.56 19.70% -8.70% 112.20% 42.90%
Canpep 1993 21.98 19.60% -5.90% 73.20% 17.70%
Birla Tax Plan '98 42.46 18.50% -5.30% 128.30% 102.80%
Alliance Cap. Tax 1996 69.06 15.20% -4.30% 178.30% 76.20%
Pru ICICI Tax (Gr) 13.45 14.90% -9.10% 0.00% 15.80%
UTI Equity Tax Savings 10.56 13.40% -2.00% 0.00% -4.30%
Sundaram Tax Saver (Open) 10.21 9.20% -4.80% 0.00% 2.10%
K P Tax Shield (Gr) 28.75 7.20% -4.80% 194.80% 158.80%
Zurich(I) Tax Saver 18.59 6.20% -1.20% 167.70% 56.70%

With the exception of Magnum Taxgain and Canpep 93, all ELSS with a minimum 12-month history have given returns in excess of 100% over the last 12 months. Over the last week, only 3 of them (Sundaram Tax Saver, KP Taxshield, Zurich Tax Saver) have given returns below 10%. Over the last month, when most growth and IT funds fell significantly, no ELSS has fallen by over 10%.

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