FM Nirmala Sitharaman on Coronovirus Outbreak: Centre pushes deadline for filing of GST, ITR and waives off ATM withdrawal fee; key takeaways
Amid coronavirus outbreak, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced some micro measures to offer some end-of-the-financial-year relief to citizens, many of whom are currently living under lockdown
Hopes for a financial relief package for an already ailing economy, now carrying the burden of coronavirus pandemic, were dashed once again as Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman postponed the announcement of a comprehensive package for "sooner rather than later".
The finance minister also did not announce the Financial Taskforce announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation last week. She also gave no timeline for these much-awaited measures but maintained these will be announced soon.
However, in her much-awaited presser, Sitharaman, did announce some micro measures to offer some end-of-the-financial-year relief to citizens, many of whom are currently living under lockdown. Here are the key takeaways from the finance ministry's presser:
- Deadline for filing of Income Tax returns for Financial Year 2018-19 extended. Instead of 31 March, it will now be accepted till 30 June.
- Furthermore, the interest rate for delayed Income Tax payments has been reduced from 12 to 9 percent.
- The deadline for linking your Aadhaar and PAN card has been pushed to 30 June from 31 March.
- Vivaad Se Vishwas scheme has also been extended to 30 June.
- In customs and central excise, Sabka Vishwas scheme for Indirect Tax extended till 30 June 2020.
- The last date for filing March, April and May 2020 GST returns and composition returns has been extended till 30 June 2020.
- For companies, which have a turnover of less than Rs 5 crore, there will be no interest, no late fees and no penalty on the filing of GST. For the bigger companies, interest would be 9 percent.
- Bank charges for digital trade transactions have also been reduced, and debit cardholders can withdraw cash from any other banks' ATM without any additional charge for the next three months.
- No minimum balance requirement fee will be charged from bank account holders over the next three months.
- If the director of any company will not be present for 182 days in the country, it will not be treated as an offence. Earlier, there was a cap of 180 days on foreign stays.
- Newly incorporated companies will get an additional six months to file declaration for the commencement of business.
- On the Insolvency and Bankruptcy code, the government said, it may suspend sections 7,9,10 of the IBC for MSMEs for six months if the situation does not improve beyond 30 April.
A third of the population did not have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, which means about 40 crore people are still vulnerable to COVID-19 infection, the sero survey found
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While this is new territory for India, similar instances have occurred before in the UK, Brazil and Portugal
The ICMR head, however, added a caveat that for such a step to be considered, it must be ensured that school teachers and other support staff members are vaccinated