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FM Announces Slew of Measures To Tackle Economic Impact of Corona outbreak

The FM said a separate ‘Economic Package’ is in works and will be announced “soon”, addressing the media via video link.

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With 32 States and Union Territories under lockdown resulting in a virtual shut down of most economic activities, the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday, March 24 announced a number of measures in order to provide relief to individuals, corporate and businesses. The FM said a separate ‘Economic Package’ is in works and will be announced “soon”, addressing the media via video link. 

Tax Related Decisions

For the financial year 2018-19, the last date for filing Income Tax return has been extended to 30 June, 2020. The Interest rate has been reduced from 18 per cent to 9 per cent. 

The delayed deposit of TDS will have a reduced rate of interest at 9 per cent for companies having a turnover of above Rs 5 crore. No interest, penalty, late fees for companies having a turnover of under Rs 5 crore, the FM said.

The mandatory linking of Aadhaar with PAN, which was supposed to be over by March 31, 2020 has now been extended to June 30, 2020 and so are the benefits of 'Vivaad se Vishwas' Scheme that have also been extended to 30 June, 2020.

GST

The Last Date for filling GST of March-April-May shall be now 30 June, 2020. Companies less than 5 Crore Turnover will have to pay No Interest, No Penalty on delayed filling. The Date for GST Compensation scheme is also extended to 30 June, 2020.

Customs & Corporate Compliance Matters

During this period of lockdown, Custom clearance will operate 24*7 up till 30 June 2020

The mandatory requirement of holding meetings of the Board of the companies with in prescribed interval provided in the Companies Act (120 days), 2013, shall be extended by a period of 60-days till next two quarters i.e., till 30th September. The FM also said that the applicability of companies auditor’s report order shall be effective only from 2020-21. The finance minister also announced that for the financial year 2019-20, if the independent director has not attended a single meeting during this period, it shall not be treated as a violation of law. The government has also extended by 6-months the filling of declaration of operation/commencement of business by newly incorporated companies. 

IBC related matters

The limit for IBC defaulter has been raised from Rs 1 Lakh to Rs 1 Crore. If the current situation carries beyond 20 April, Section: 7, 9 & 10 of IBC shall be suspended for 6 months, the finance minister said.

Bank related 

The FM said that all the Debit card holders could withdraw cash for free from any bank ATM for the next three-months. The minimum balance fee has also been waived off, the FM said adding that banks should reduce their charges for all digital trade transaction for all trade finance consumers.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also announced setting up of a task force, to be headed by the FM to look at long term measures to limit economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


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