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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

By Kamal Swami

Announcements made by the Finance Minister Appreciated by SIAM

Just a few hours before the announcement of complete lockdown till April 14, 2020, by the honorable Prime Minister of India, Shri. Narendra Mod, the Minister of Finance, Government of India, honorable Nirmala Sitharaman declared some interesting steps to stabilize the economic condition of the country. The government has constituted an Economic Task Force to assess the condition and decide the existing economic condition of the country and then take the necessary steps for extending the statutory and regulatory compliances to combat with Coronavirus outbreak.
Some of the major announcements made by the Finance Minister are:
  • Extending the tax filing date for the financial year 2018-19 till June 30, 2020;
  • Interest rate reduced to nine percent from 12 percent for delayed payments;
  • Similarly, the interest rate for the delay in TDS has been also reduced to nine percent from 18 percent;
  • The GST returns for three months from March to May 2020 including the composition returns has been extended till June 30, 2020;
  • The government has waived of interest, late fees or penalty for the companies with turnover less than Rs. 5 crores, whereas for the companies with turnover of more than Rs. 5 crores the interest rate has been reduced to nine percent;
  • There will  be no charges for the next three months on withdrawal of money from ATMs, similarly, there will be no necessity of maintaining the minimum balance in the saving account for the same period;
  • The corporate sectors which are not able to hold their statutory board meetings will be offered the relaxation of 60 days for the next two quarters.
Apart from the above-mentioned lots of steps have been initiated by the government for strengthening the economic condition of the country.
Commenting on the situation Mr. Rajan Wadhera, President, SIAM said, "The series of announcements made by the Finance minister today, with regard to the extension of return filing for GST and Income Tax till June 30, declaration of 24x7 customs clearance as essential service, and many more relaxations in Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and penalty charges for companies, especially MSMEs, will lessen the challenges for companies in the immediate term. The earlier announcement of spending for COVID-19 being eligible for CSR activities, along with today's series of announcements on compliance and regulatory norms, are all in the right direction."

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