Measures taken by Government of India to aid Businesses during COVID-19 lockdown

The global macroeconomic outlook for the current financial year 2020-21 has been adversely affected by COVID-19 pandemic which has impacted the majority of countries in the world across continents. The pandemic has cast its shadow across various economic activities with dislocation in global production, supply chains and trade. The spread of COVID-19 in India and its mitigation plan of 40 days nationwide lockdown from 25 March 2020 to 3 May 2020 and a possibility of further extension of lockdown by several State Governments, there is likely to be a significant impact across various sectors of the economy. 

To address these adverse times, the Government of India has been preparing strategies and action plans not only for business continuity and sectoral revival but also to improve Ease of Doing Business in the country by releasing notifications/amendments/circulars highlighting measures to improve the business environment in India. Below are some of the special measures by Central government, Reserve Bank of India, Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) and the sectoral ministries to boost businesses in India.

Trade & Commerce in India get a boost

Guidelines / Notifications Issued By

Helpdesk operationalized by DGFT for COVID-19 related Export or Import issue

Access here

Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT)

Last updated: 26 March 2020

Advisory on non-charging of container detention charges on import and export shipments

Access here

Ministry of Shipping

Last updated: 29 March 2020

Temporary relaxation in processing of documents pertaining to Foreign Portfolio Investors due to COVID-19

Access here

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)

Last updated: 30 March 2020

Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020 extended for one year, Other immediate relief measures also announced

Access here

Ministry of Commerce & Industry

Last updated: 31 March 2020

Validity of Registration cum Membership Certificate of members of Export Promotion Councils expiring in Mar 2020 to be extended up to Sep 2020

Access here

Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT)

Last updated: 31 March 2020

Scanned copies of pre-registration and other documents for registration under European Union Generalised System of Preferences to be accepted

Access here

Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT)

Last updated: 02 April 2020

Deadline for certain requests such as one-time condonation under the Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) scheme extended till March 31, 2021

Access here

Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT)

Last updated: 07 April 2020

Exemption granted from Basic Customs Duty and Health Cess (till September 2020) on import of ventilators, masks, PPEs, test kits, and inputs used to manufacture these

Access here

Ministry of Finance

Last updated: 09 April 2020

Department of Commerce has Provided a number of Relaxations / Extensions of various Compliance Deadlines etc. to address Corona Pandemic Related Hardships of Exporters

Access here

Ministry of Commerce & Industry

Last updated: 11 April 2020

Relaxation in provision for submission of physical copy of application for availing Transport and Market Assistance for specified agricultural products

Access here

Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT)

Last updated: 13 April 2020

All-India Agri Transport Call Centre set up to facilitate inter-state movement of perishables (crops and inputs) during lockdown

Access here

Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare

Last updated: 15 April 2020

FDI Policy amended to curb opportunistic acquisition or takeover of Indian companies, restrictions on entities of countries sharing border with India

Access here

Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT)

Last updated: 18 April 2020

Extension in deadline for application for initiating an Anti-dumping Sunset Review investigation

Access here

Ministry of Commerce & Industry

Last updated: 21 April 2020

 

Managing Corporate Affairs efficiently

Guidelines / Notifications Issued By

Certain relaxations provided to companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) from statutory requirements under Companies Act, 2013 and LLP Act, 2008.

Access here

Ministry of Corporate Affairs

Last updated: 24 March 2020

Companies Fresh Start Scheme notified for permitting delayed filings under the Companies Act, 2013

Access here

Ministry of Corporate Affairs

Last updated: 30 March 2020

COVID-19 related Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Access here

Ministry of Corporate Affairs

Last updated: 10 April 2020

Clarifications on passing ordinary and special resolutions by companies under the Companies Act, 2013 in view of COVID-19

Access here

Ministry of Corporate Affairs

Last updated: 13 April 2020

Clarifications for holding AGMs for companies in view of COVID-19

Access here

Ministry of Corporate Affairs

Last updated: 21 April 2020

 

Providing stimulus to the BFSI sector in India

Guidelines / Notifications Issued By

Guidelines to be followed by insurers for handling of insurance claims reported under Coronavirus 

Access here

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI)

Last updated: 04 March 2020

Operational and business continuity measures to be taken by banks and other financial institutions such as: (i) taking stock of critical processes, and (ii) encouraging customers to take up digital banking facilities.

Access here

Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

Last updated: 16 March 2020

SEBI relaxes compliance of certain obligations and disclosure requirements in view of COVID pandemic, such as: (i) filing of corporate governance report, (ii) compliance certificate on share transfer facility

Access here

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)

Last updated: 19 March 2020

Relief measures announced by Finance Minister regarding: (i) Income tax filing, (ii) GST filing, (iii) Corporate affairs (iv) GST, (v) Customs & Central Excise (vi) Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC) (vii) Fisheries, (viii) Banking Sector and (ix) Commerce.

Access here

Ministry of Finance

Last updated: 24 March 2020

SEBI notified capital and debt market services to be exempted from the nationwide lockdown. These include registered stock exchanges, clearing corporations and mutual funds, among others.

Access here

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)

Last updated: 24 March 2020

Relaxation from Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers Regulations. These regulations require shareholders to compile, collate, and disseminate information of their consolidated shareholding as on March 31, 2020, to the company and the stock exchanges.

Access here

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)

Last updated: 27 March 2020

Instructions to banks/NBFCs by RBI on measures for easing the burden of debt servicing, three month moratorium on payment of instalments etc.

Access here

Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

Last updated: 27 March 2020

RBI released a statement on development and regulatory policies to address the stress in financial conditions caused by COVID19. These include expanding liquidity in the system and relaxing repayment pressures.

Access here

Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

Last updated: 27 March 2020

RBI reduced the policy repo rate from 5.15% to 4.4% and reverse repo rate from 4.9% to 4.0% in March 2020, due to the negative effects of the coronavirus

Access here

Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

Last updated: 27 March 2020

Steps to be taken by insurers amidst COVID-19 pandemic for smooth functioning of insurance industry. These include: (i) displaying COVID-19 claims related FAQs on their website, (ii) putting in place a Business Continuity Plan.

Access here

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI)

Last updated: 30 March 2020

Relaxation in certain compliance requirements for FPIs due to COVID-19

Access here

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)

Last updated: 30 March 2020

RBI decides it is not necessary to implement countercyclical capital buffer (CCyB) for a period of one year. CCyB framework aims banking system to build up a buffer of capital in good times which may be used to maintain flow of credit to the real sector in difficult times.

Access here

Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

Last updated: 01 April 2020

RBI provides extension in time period for realisation of export proceeds from nine months to 15 months for exports upto July 31,2020, Review of Limits of Way and Means Advances of States/UTs and Implementation of countercyclical capital buffer

Access here

Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

Last updated: 01 April 2020

IRDAI permits insurers to grant a moratorium of three months towards payment of instalments falling due between 1 March 2020 and 31 May 2020

Access here

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI)

Last updated: 08 April 2020

IRDAI has released guidelines for prudent management of financial resources of insurers in the context of Covid-19 pandemic. This includes critically examining their capital availability and solvency margin as required, and devise strategies to ensure that they have adequate capital

Access here

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI)

Last updated: 13 April 2020

SEBI provides relaxation in certain regulatory requirements, such as client funding reporting and risk based supervision reporting, for stock exchanges and clearing corporations

Access here

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)

Last updated: 16 April 2020

SEBI provides relaxation in time period for certain activities carried out by depository participants, such as processing of demat requests

Access here

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)

Last updated: 16 April 2020

In view of COVID-19, the period from March 1, 2020 to May 31, 2020 will be excluded from the 30 day review period post which the lenders are required to implement a 180 day resolution plan for resolution of stressed assets

Access here

Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

Last updated: 17 April 2020

RBI has revised the liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) in form of high quality liquid assets to be maintained with the banks. Banks will be required to maintain 80% LCR till Sept'20, 90% from Oct'20 to March'21 and 100% LCR from 1 April 2021 onwards.

Access here

Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

Last updated: 17 April 2020

RBI has mandated that banks should not make any further dividend payouts from the profits of FY 2020 till further instructions. This is done to ensure banks conserve capital to retain their capacity to support the economy and absorb losses, in view of COVID-19.

Access here

Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

Last updated: 17 April 2020

RBI announces several additional measures to combat the macroeconomic conditions due to COVID-19. These include: (i) reduction in reverse repo rate from 4% to 3.75%, (ii) refinancing of financial institutions NABARD, SIDBI and NHB for a total amount of Rs 50,000 crore.

Access here

Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

Last updated: 17 April 2020

Reserve Bank Announces Targeted Long-Term Repo Operations 2.0 with a 25 basis point reverse repo cut taking it to 3.75 per cent from 4 per cent earlier. A TLTRO 2.0 of Rs 50,000 crore specifically targeted at NBFCs has been announced.

Access here

Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

Last updated: 17 April 2020

 

General / sectoral relief measures with an economic impact

Guidelines / Notifications Issued By

Invest India Business Immunity Platform launched to helping businesses withstand COVID-19

Access here

Invest India

Last updated: 24 March 2020

Relaxations provided on compliances to be met by units / developers / co‐developers of SEZs

Access here

Ministry of Commerce & Industry

Last updated: 30 March 2020

More than 280 units in SEZs, manufacturing essential items like pharmaceuticals and hospital devices, are operational

Access here

Ministry of Commerce & Industry

Last updated: 31 March 2020

DPIIT sets up a Control Room to monitor the status of transportation and delivery of goods, manufacturing, and delivery of essential commodities

Access here

Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT)

Last updated: 26 March 2020

Petroleum & Explosives Safety Organization takes various measures to address the problems faced by Petroleum, Explosives, Oxygen and Industrial Gas Industries

Access here

Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT)

Last updated: 27 March 2020

MNRE announced time extension in scheduled commissioning date of renewable energy projects due to disruption in supply chain

Access here

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)

Last updated: 20 March 2020

MNRE issues instructions regarding invoicing of renewable energy supplies, invoices over email can be accepted instead of hard copies

Access here

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)

Last updated: 01 April  2020

Clarification regarding moratorium to discoms for payments, must run status to RE generating stations, regular payment to RE generating stations required

Access here

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)

Last updated: 01 April  2020

Clarification by MNRE on Must Run status of Renewable Energy Stations during lockdown, no curtailment except for grid safety reasons allowed

Access here

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)

Last updated: 04 April  2020

Extension of six months in effective dates under Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM) Order concerning solar PV modules/cells

Access here

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)

Last updated: 07 April  2020

Effective date for implementation of Approved Lists of Models and Manufacturers of Solar PV Modules and Solar PV Cells extended by six months

Access here

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)

Last updated: 21 April  2020

Extension for RE Projects for a period of 30 days beyond lockdown

Access here

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)

Last updated: 21 April  2020

Power minister approves major relief measures for power sector. (1) Union power ministry to ensure 24×7 electricity supply during lockdown (2) Payment security to be reduced by 50% (3) 3 months moratorium on Discoms to make payment to Gencos and transmission licensees

Access here

Ministry of Power

Last updated: 28 March 2020

Clarification regarding payment of dues by discoms, obligation to pay within specified period (45 days or otherwise in PPA) remains, late charges at reduced rate applicable

Access here

Ministry of Power

Last updated: 06 April 2020

Ministry of Coal appoints nodal officers for responding to queries raised by various consumers/stakeholders and outside agencies during the lockdown

Access here

Ministry of Coal

Last updated: 26 March 2020

Coal India Limited to extend Usance Letter of Credit facility to Power and Non-Power consumers for payment of coal instead of cash advance for the Fuel Supply Agreements

Access here

Ministry of Coal

Last updated: 09 April 2020

Extension of validity of prior issued environmental clearances for all projects and activities which are expiring between March 15, 2020 and April 30, 2020, till June 30, 2020 to ensure uninterrupted operations

Access here

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Last updated: 25 March 2020

All projects or activities related to bulk drugs and intermediates manufactured for addressing ailments such as COVID-19 and those with similar symptoms have been categorised as ‘B2’ for a period up to the 30th September 2020. This means will not be required to submit an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report.

Access here

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Last updated: 27 March 2020

Department of Science and Technology sets up task force for mapping of technologies by Start Ups on COVID-19

Access here

Department of Science and Technology

Last updated: 26 March 2020

Ministry of Food Processing Industries(MoFPI) sets up a grievance cell for the food and related industry to ensure hassle-free operations and uninterrupted supply of essentials

Access here

Ministry of Food Processing Industries

Last updated: 26 March 2020

Relaxation of six weeks to telecom service providers for filing monthly and quarterly reports with TRAI due in April 2020

Access here

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

Last updated: 29 March 2020

Extension of Airworthiness Review Certificate (ARC) during the lockdown phase of COVID19

Access here

Directorate General of Civil Aviation

Last updated: 03 April  2020

Extension of validity of certain approvals and licenses/authorisations issued under the Aircraft Rules, 1937 related to COVID 19 Lockdown

Access here

Directorate General of Civil Aviation

Last updated: 03 April  2020

Notification under the Ordinance to extend time limits for various GST compliances to June 30, with effect from March 20

Access here

Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs

Last updated: 03 April  2020

Textiles Ministry extends limit for HDPE/PP bags from 1.80 lakh bales to 2.62 lakh to tide over crisis of packaging of foodgrains due to closure of jute mills during lock down,  writes to Governments of all jute growing States to allow movement, sale and supply of jute seeds, fertilizers and other farming aids. Ministry committed to protect interest of jute farmers and workers

Access here

Ministry of Textiles

Last updated: 07 April  2020

Extension of time period for filing ESIC contributions by employers in view of COVID-19 pandemic

Access here

Ministry of Labour & Employment

Last updated: 14 April  2020

Exemptions granted to businesses for various purposes including testing and approval of tractors, tillers, harvesters, and other machinery (till December); expiring licences of seed dealers to be valid till September

Access here

Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare

Last updated: 17 April  2020