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#IndiaFightsCorona: FM’s Big Relief Announcements, All You Need to Know About Nirmala Sitharaman’s March 24 Presser


On March 24, 2020 Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and MoS Anurag Thakur addressed the press and announced various measures giving relief across the sectors of economy from common people to companies. FM said that a comprehensive economic package is shaping up and will be announced soon. Nevertheless, today’s measures themselves come as a great relief to society which is in lockdown due to fight against Coronavirus.

Here are the relaxations given across the sectors.

Banking Ease for Common Citizens
  • Debit card holders can withdraw cash from any bank ATM free of charge for next three months
  • Complete waiver of minimum balance requirement fee on bank accounts
  • Reduction of bank charges for digital trade transactions for all trade-finance consumers
Income Tax
  • The last date for the income tax return for the financial year 2018-19 is extended to 30th June 2020. For delayed payments interest rate has been reduced from 12% to 9%
  • No extension for TDS but delayed deposits of TDS interest rate reduced from 18% to 9%.
  • Aadhar-Pan linking date extended to June 30th
  • Vivad se Vishwas extended to 30th June, no additional 10% charge.
  • Due dates for issue of various stages of intimation and compliance with the other regulations where time limit was expiring to 20 March extended to 30 June 2020
Extended Compliance Deadlines, Penalties Waived on GST
  • Last date for filing March, April and May 2020 returns and composition returns extended to 30 June 2020 with region wise staggered deadlines – 27, 28, 29 and 30 June 2020
  • Companies with less than ₹5 crore turnover – no interest, no late fee or no penalty to be charged
  • Larger companies above ₹5 crore, late fee, penalty and interest waived during first 15 days; post 15 days only reduced interest at 9%
  • Date for opting for composition scheme extended to 30 June 2020
  • Sabka Vishwas Scheme Extended for Customs and Central Excise; No Interest
  • Sabka Vishwaas Scheme deadline extended from 31 March 2020 to 30 June 2020
  • During this period, no interest to be levied for this period for those with turnover less than ₹1.5crore
Compliance and Regulations under MCA Relaxed
  • Moratorium on MCA-21 Registry from 1 April to 30 September 2020; no additional fee for late filing
  • Mandatory requirement on Board meetings relaxed by 60-day period for next two quarters
  • Companies Auditors Report Order 2020 to be made applicable from FY2020-21 instead of 2019-20
  • Independent Directors not able to be part of even a single meeting in 2019-20 will not be seen as violation
More Relaxations on Directorship Norms, Smoothing Operations
  • Newly incorporated companies – requirement to file commencement of business within six months being extended by another six months
  • Company Director not complying with minimum residency requirement of 182 days under Sec 149 of companies Act not to be considered as violation
  • Deposit reserve requirement of 20% to be complied with by 30 June 2020
  • Deadline for investing 15% debentures maturing during particular year into specified instruments extended from 30 April 2020 to 30 June 2020
Relief for MSMEs with Regard to Insolvency
  • Threshold for default raised from ₹1 lakh to ₹1crore to prevent triggering of insolvency proceedings against MSMEs immediately
  • Will watch the situation; if needed may suspend Sec 7, Sec 9 and Sec 10 of IBC after 30 April 2020 for six-month period
Fisheries Sector
  • Validity of all sanitary import permits (SIPs) for import of shrimp root stock and aquaculture inputs expiring between 1-15 April 2020 extended for three months
  • Up to 1-month delay in arrival of consignments to be condoned and shall be overlooked
  • Rebooking of quarantine cubicles for cancelled consignments in Aquatic Quarantine Facility in Chennai without additional booking charges to be allowed
  • Verification of document, grant of NOC for quarantine to be shortened from 7 days to 3 days