In the wake of the unprecedented wreckage caused by Coronavirus, the government on Tuesday unveiled a slew of measures to deal with its economic impact even as finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman reiterated there was no move to impose a financial emergency.
Addressing a news conference in the capital, Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the deadline to file IT returns stands extended from March 31 to June 30, 2020 while the; last date for linking Pan with Aaadhar, also scheduled for last day of this month stands extrended to June 30. There will be no move to declare a financial emergency, the Sitharaman says. The ‘Vivad se Vishwas’ scheme is extended to June 30, 2020, and from now to June 30, there will be no 10% additional charge.
The Minister’s announcement came after taking into account the inputs that the government has been getting from various stakeholders. “We will come out with an announcement on an economic package soon. Today’s announcements are to ease the burden on tax and compliance” she said adding that every attention is being given to the economy and the prime minister himself is paying close heed to the situation,
Among other major announcement she made were :
- There will be no minimum balance requirement in banks now. Bank charges for digital trade transactions are also being reduced.
- Debit card holders can withdraw money for free from any other bank’s ATMs for three months.
- Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code default limit has been increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1 crore, says MoS Finance Anurag Thakur
- Bank charges for digital trade transactions will be reduced, says FM
- For newly incorporated companies there is a requirement to file declaration for the commencement of business within 6 months of incorporation. Now we are giving them an additional time of 6 more months, says FM
- Companies’ auditor report order being shifted to FY 2020-21, says FM
- Relaxation of mandatory requirement for holding board meeting. This relaxation is for the next two quarters.
- Companies with less than Rs 5 crore turnover, no penalty or interest will be charged. For over Rs 5 crore (bigger companies), interest at a reduced rate of 9% will be charged, says FM
- Last date for filing March-April-May GST return and Composition returns extended till June 30
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in his address to the nation last week announced the setting up of a task force under Sitharaman to take necessary actions ‘in the near future’ after analysing COVID-19 situation in the country.PM Modi had said that keeping in mind economic challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak, the COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force will be set up.
The deadly coronavirus, which originated in China’s Wuhan, has claimed the lives of ten people in the country and affected 492 people. In order to control the outbreak, a lockdown has been imposed in all 548 districts across the country.
The government has also suspended all domestic flights, railway services, inter-state bus services and all metro services across the country. The central government has also state governments to impose curfew wherever necessary as many people continue to go out of their homes despite the lockdown ordered to check the spread of the virus.