Amidst the concerns of economic slowdown affecting India, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has addressed the press on August 23 to announce a slew of measures to further give boost to the economy.
From addressing the concerns of MSME sector to further ensuring that the common man should not face harassment from tax authorities, she has almost touched upon all areas related to Indian economy.
FM asserted that despite all the concerns India continues to hold a good position in comparison to the global economic growth.
She has also assured that the government is constantly taking feedback from business community and monitoring the common concerns of the market and two more set of the announcement may come in future as well.
Here are the key takeaways from her press conference.
Respecting the wealth creators
Government has decided that any CSR violation from hereon will not be a criminal offence but a civil liability.
Checking the arbitrary powers of IT sleuths, Income Tax notices, orders and summons are to be issued by centralised computer system on or after October 01, 2019.
Boost to investment in capital market
With a view to encourage investment in capital market, government has withdrawn the enhanced surcharge on long/short term capital gains which was introduced by the Finance act of 2019.
To deepen the bond markets or long-term finance in India, it has been proposed to establish an organisation to provide credit enhancement for infrastructure and housing projects.
Action is to be taken to develop Credit Default Swap Markets in consultation with RBI and SEBI.
Enabling the easy funding to Startups
Many Startups in India were facing difficulties due to the universally applied section 56(2) (viib) of the Income Tax act. Government has decided to end its applicability to Startups registered with DPIIT.
Capitalisation of the economy
Banks have agreed to pass on all Repo Rate cuts into their MCLR (Marginal Cost of funds-based Lending Rate).
Upfront release of Rs 70,000 crore, additional lending and liquidity to the tune of Rs 5 lakh crore by providing the upfront capital to Public Sector Banks (PSBs).
Both the decision above will help in infusion of more liquidity into the economy.
Easing the process for common people
Bringing relief to the borrowers who mortgaged their assets, Public Sector Banks will ensure the return of loan documents to customers within 15 days of the closure of a loan.
In order to improve market access for the domestic retail investors, Aadhaar-based KYC to be permitted for opening the Demat account and making investments in Mutual Funds.
Availability of credit for house and vehicles
Housing finance companies will now get an additional Rs 20,000 crore from the National Housing Bank (NHB). The funding to the NHB has been increased to Rs 30,000 crore, up from Rs 20,000 crore.
Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) will now be able to use Aadhaar-authenticated KYCs to simplify the taking up of credit.
Problems in GST Returns addressed – Relief to MSME
All pending GST refunds due on MSMEs till now shall be paid within 30 days.
The request for GST refunds from MSMEs henceforth will now be cleared within 60 days of intimation.
Addressing the stress of automobile sector
Government will consider various measures, include a scrappage policy.
An additional 15 percent depreciation will be provided on vehicles acquired from now till March 2020, taking the total depreciation to 30 percent.
BS-IV vehicles purchased upto March 2020 will remain operational for their entire period of registration.
Strengthening the infrastructure capability
Delayed payments by government to private players to be monitored by department of expenditure and cabinet secretariat on a dashboard except on those cases which are under litigation.
A decision has been taken to release 75 percent of the arbitration award.
Inter-ministerial task force is being formed to implement the decision of Rs 100 lakh crore in the infrastructure sector over the next 5 years.