New Delhi, Apr 12 (PTI) Equity mutual funds witnessed a net inflow of Rs 6,657 crore in March, a plunge of 59 per cent from the preceding month, due to volatile stock markets along with profit-booking by investors to avoid payment of LTCG tax.

According to a report by rating agency Icra, equity funds, including equity-linked saving schemes saw monthly net inflow of Rs 6,657 crore in March, down from Rs 16,268 crore infusion seen in February.

“The fall could be due to volatile equity markets and profit-booking by investors to avoid paying long-term capital gains (LTCG) tax before the new tax rules came into effect from April 1, 2018,” the report noted.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his budget speech, had announced LTCG tax of 10 per cent on equity gains beginning February 1, 2018 – on gains exceeding Rs 1 lakh.

Later, the government clarified that the proposed LTCG tax on equity holdings will apply on profits made from sale of shares on or after April 1, 2018.

Despite the volatility, equity funds saw robust net inflow of Rs 1.71 lakh crore in the gone-by fiscal.

In the eleven-month period ended February, 2018, cumulative Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) contribution was Rs 60,071 crore.

Overall, mutual fund schemes saw a net inflow of Rs 2.72 lakh crore in 2017-18, much lower than Rs 3.4 lakh crore seen in the previous financial year.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.