India went into a 21-day lockdown
starting from midnight, March 24, 2020, as an endeavor to halt the spread of
coronavirus. To bolster the country's economy that is staggering under the
deadly outbreak, the government has decided to undertake specific relief
measures. In a media briefing, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced
the steps that the government has decided to take for the same. Let’s have a
Sitharaman announced that the government has
deferred the last date for filing the income tax return for the previous
financial year to June 30, 2020.
If there is any delay in payment, the interest
levied will be lower, 9 percent instead of 12 percent.
The scheme for resolving tax disputes, Vivad
se Vishwas, has also been extended to June 30. The program offers relief on the
10 percent interest on the principal amount till March 31, and that deadline
has been deferred till June 30.
The last date for the obligatory seeding of Aadhaar
with PAN has been pushed from March 31 to June 30.
Notices under the Income Tax Act will also be
issued at a later date.
Sitharaman declared that the deadline for
filing GST returns for March-April-May has also been moved to June 30.
As a relief to companies with an annual
turnover lower than Rs 5 crore, the late filing of GST returns would not
attract any penalty or interest.
For companies having more than Rs 5 crore
annual turnover, no late fine will be imposed if the GST filing deadline is
crossed by up to 15 days. After that, a diminished rate of 9 percent will be
charged as interest.
The rule about holding mandatory general board
meetings every two quarters has been relaxed. If a board meeting is not held
for 2019-20, it will not be considered an infringement.
Under ordinary circumstances, you need to
maintain a minimum bank balance in your savings account, or else you attract a
fine. Under the altered conditions of the coronavirus catastrophe, the
government has decided to relinquish the charges for not maintaining such
Sitharaman said that for the coming three
months, debit-card holders would be able to withdraw cash from all ATMs, even
those not belonging to their home banks, without having to pay any extra fees.
To prevent companies from being driven to
insolvency, the government increased the threshold limit for triggering
bankruptcy under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1
Sitharaman also allayed further concerns of a fiscal slowdown by declaring that the government will soon bring an economic package to safeguard the nation against the Covid-19 pandemic. In the middle of the coronavirus scare and the people's growing unease, these announcements brought a much-needed reprieve.