As the nation continues to reel under the sudden and sporadic outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on Tuesday, announced a slew of relief measures for Indian taxpayers and businesses to cope with the economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis.
Among some of the biggest steps that the Narendra Modi government is taking to deal with the COVID-19 induced emergency, is a relaxation in terms of the last date for filing income tax returns for FY2018-19 as well as Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns. For the filing of both of these documents, the deadline has now been extended to June 30.
In another respite, the Finance Minister waived off fee on cash withdrawals from ATMs of all banks for a period of three months. As India enters yet another day of the lockdown, to ease transactions over essentials, the government has also waived off the requirement for a keeping a minimum bank balance. Additionally, Sitharaman also assured that the charges for digital trade transactions will be reduced.
Sitharaman also has a bunch of measures in store for small and large companies. She said, for companies with a turnover of less than Rs 5 crore, no interest, late fee, or penalty will be levied. However, for businesses with a turnover of more than Rs 5 crore, late fee and penalty will be waived off, but interest will be charged. The interest will be charged at a reduced rate of 9 percent.
The government is also offering 24x7 custom clearance till June 30, 2020 and has waived off additional booking charges for re-booking of quarantine cubicles in aquatic quarantine facilities in Chennai. Besides this, the government has also assured that any delay of up to one month in the arrival of consignment for fisheries will be overlooked.
Sitharaman announced these relief measures as she addressed the nation during a press conference on Tuesday, March 24. While responding to the various concerns of the people and the business owners, FM also assured that a financial relief package is in the works and will be announced soon.
(Edited by Kanishk Singh)