FM Nirmala Sitharaman announces deadline extension and relaxation of regulatory norms for citizens and businesses

The Economic Task Force will soon announce an economic relief package to deal with the impact of COVID-19

Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), Ease in business rules, Deadline extension, Economic Task Force, Financial norms, Statutory and regulatory compliance extension, Tax rules, TDS
Courtesy: Nirmala Sitharaman Facebook page

Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, through a press conference announced key relief measures for citizens and businesses, given the profound impact of Coronavirus pandemic on the economy.

With the ongoing lockdown across India’s dozens of cities and 75 districts, the finance minister assured the citizens that there is no economic emergency in the country and that the Economic Task Force will soon announce an economic relief package to deal with the impact of COVID-19.

In a statement, Sitharaman also stated that, “We are consciously monitoring the stock market thrice in a day. All regulators, the RBI and finance ministry are working together to keep monitoring volatility in stock markets. Since there was lot of pressure on people to follow the March 31 deadline, so we have extended it now.”

Here are the key highlights of the announcements:

•Debit card holders can withdraw cash from any bank ATM and no charges will be incurred for next three months. This measure has been enforced to ease the burden on customers who are in need of cash and further to avoid overcrowding of bank branches.

• No additional charges will be incurred for not keeping the minimum balance in the bank. Recently, country’s largest lender State Bank of India had already waived the requirement of holding minimum balance in savings account.

•Digital charges reduced for trade transactions

• The last date for filing returns for financial year 2018-19 have now been extended to 30th June, 2020. Interest rate on delayed payment reduced to 9 per cent from 12 per cent.

• For delayed deposit of TDS, interest has been reduced to 9 per cent from 18 per cent.

• Linking of Aadhaar-pan card extended to June 30th from March 31st.

• Vivaad se Vishwaas scheme extended to June 30. No additional payment of 10 per cent to be paid.

• All compliances under Income Tax Act, Wealth Tax Act, Benami Transaction Act, Black Money Act, Vivaad se Vishwaas, have been extended to June 30, 2020.

• All GST returns for March, April, May and composition returns extended to June 30, 2020.

• No interest, no late fee or penalty will be imposed on companies with turnover leass than INR 5 crore. Companies having turnover above INR 5 crore will be levied interest at the rate of 9 per cent.

•  The last date of Sabka Vishwaas scheme for indirect taxes has been extended to June, 30, 2020 from March 31. No interest will be levied.

• Custom clearance to function 24 x7 till June, 30.

• Applicability of Companies Auditors’ Report Order 2020 shifted to 2020-21

• In respect of MCA 21 registry, moratorium being issued till September 30, 2020. No additional fees will be incurred for late filing.

• There is a mandatory requirement for holding Board meeting, which government has decided to relax for next two quarters.

• For newly incorporated companies: 6 more months to file commencement of business report.

• If there is a company director who does not comply  with minimum residency requirement of 182 days, this was treated as a violation. It shall not be treated as one.

• Threshold of default is INR one lakh as of now. From INR one lakh it is being raised to INR one crore to prevent triggering of insolvency proceedings for SMEs.

• If it continues like this beyond April, then sec 7, 9, 10 of the IBC will be suspended for a period of six months.

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