New Delhi, March 24, 2020 (IANS) Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman here on Tuesday announced an eight-point structural and regulatory relief package to mitigate the economic fallout of Covid-19.
At a press briefing through video link, Sitharaman announced relaxed compliance norms for income-tax, goods and services tax (GST), customs, IBC, banking and commerce.
The Centre, she said would soon come out with an economic package to support the economy. “The economic package is going to be announced soon,” Sitharaman said while announcing a set of compliance-related issues, including extension of dates for filing income-tax and GST returns.
Regulatory deadlines extended
The regulatory deadlines have been extended to June 30 from March 31 for most compliance relating to taxation and statutory corporate filings. The deadline for filing income-tax returns for the financial year 2018-19 (FY19) has been extended till June 30 to provide relief amid the coronavirus crisis.
Sitharaman said the government had reduced the interest rate on delayed TDS deposit to 9 per cent from 18 per cent. The government has also extended the deadline for linking of Aadhaar and PAN till June 30 from March 31.
Assurance has been given to halt IBC procedures for six months, and the trigger clause for taking a company to the insolvency procedure under the code has been raised to Rs 1 crore.
The Finance Minister also assured on the moratorium on initiation of the procedure itself for the next six months, after keeping a watch till April 30.
Debit card usage charges
On the digital transactions, bank charges would be reduced for all trade finance consumers, she said.
Similarly, debit cardholders can withdraw cash from any bank ATM free of usage charges for the next three months. The minimum balance requirement fee has been withdrawn, which meant an account holder would be allowed to bring down balances to almost zero without banks charging fee for that.
At the moment, it would apply for three months, she said and added, it would be applicable for all banks.
The government has also extended duration of the dispute settlement schemes for direct taxes (Vivaad Se Vishwas) and indirect taxes (Sabka Vishwas) till June 30.
Sitharaman said the Centre and the regulatory bodies were monitoring the stock market volatility.
Recently, market regulator Sebi had issued guidelines to curb the heightened volatility caused due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Reiterating that the matter is of utmost concern to the government, she said the Centre was maintaining contact with regulators at least three times a day. Lately, the India VIX or fear index has jumped to the new high on the back of investors’ concerns over the economic fallout.