As the deadly COVID-19 cases rose to 446 Tuesday in India, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a host of measures aimed at relaxing compliance norms and deadlines related to income tax, goods and services tax (GST), and customs and excise. Additionally, she also announced temporary suspension of charges for cash withdrawal from bank ATMs. Customers will not be charged a fee for three months for not maintaining a minimum balance in their bank accounts.
Sitharaman said that the Finance Ministry along with market regulator Securities & Exchange Board of India (Sebi) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are monitoring the Indian stock market.
“We are closely monitoring volatility in stock market and are in contact with the regulators…we are in contact with the regulators at least three times a day,” she said, while announcing these measures through a video conference.
To provide relief to the businesses, the Finance Minister extended the deadline for filing returns of GST for the months of March, April, and May 2020 to June 30. The deadline for filing composition returns has also been extended to June 30.
Companies with a turnover of less than Rs 5 crore will not be subject to any interest, late fee, or penalty but will have to file a 9 per cent interest rate for late filing of GST.
The deadline for filing income tax returns for the financial year 2018-19 has also been extended to June 30.
Sitharaman announced reduction of interest rate on delayed tax deducted at source (TDS) deposit to 9 per cent from the previous 18 per cent. That apart, the deadline for linking Aadhaar with permanent account numbers has also been relaxed. The new deadline is June 30 instead of March 31.
To ensure that export-import chain is not hindered and the supply chain is maintained as much as possible, authorities would undertake custom clearance 24X7.
Newly incorporated companies, which were mandated to make declaration of their details within six months have also been given relief. These companies will now get an additional six months to make the required declaration. Besides, company directors, who fail to comply with the minimum residency requirement of 182 days in India will not be penalized. Until now, a company director was required to spend at least 182 days in India.
Meanwhile, Sitharaman said that an economic package was in the works, which is expected to be announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The country has gone into a <span class="_5afx"><span class="_58cm">lockdown</span></span> mode to arrest the spread of this killer virus..