Key announcements made by India's finance minister on Covid-19 relief

The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on Tuesday, addressed the public with a comprehensive plan about statutory and regulatory compliance matters. She also said, "The lockdown has been done with an intention of flattening that curve of coronavirus’ spread. Therefore, I must appreciate you all for joining us today. We are close to coming up with an economic package, which will be announced soon."

Given below are the key details:

Income tax

  • Last date for returns extended to 30-June-2020
  • Delayed payments, interest rate reduced from 12 to 9%
  • No extension but on delayed deposit of TDS, only reduced interest of 9% will be charged till 30-June-20. Reduced from 18%.
  • Aadhar- Pan linking date extended to 30-Jun-2020
  • Vivaad se Vishwaas Scheme has been extended to 30-Jun-20; Additional charge of 10% that would have been levied, is being removed till 30-June-20
  • Due Dates for Issue of Notice, Approval order, Filing of appeal, Furnishing of Returns, Return Statement, Applications, Reports, any other document or compliance, including investment in Savings instruments or investment for Roll Over benefit of Capital Gains, Wealth Tax, Benami Property, Black Money, STT Law, CTT Law, Equalisation Levy Law, Vivaas se Vishwas law, where the time limit was expiring on 20-Mar-20 shall all be extended

 

GST

  • Last date for March April and May returns and Composition Returns extended to 30-June 2020. (staggered as in the note)
  • For companies <INR 5cr turnover: no interest or late fee will be charged
  • Last date for opting composition scheme has been extended to June 30, 2020. Different staggering dates will be applicable, but all will end by June 30, 2020
  • Date for opting for composition scheme extended to 30-June-2020

 

Customs and Central Excise

  • Sabka Vishwas scheme that was extended to 31-March, is extended to 30-June-2020
  • No interest would be levied irrespective of amount involved
  • Customs clearance would operate 24x7

 

Companies Act

  • MCA registry: moratorium issued from 1st April to 31st September 2020
  • No additional fees for late filing
  • Board Meetings: Relaxing by a period of 60 days till the next two quarters
  • Applicability of the Companies Auditor’s Report Order 2020 will be made applicable from FY 2020-2021 instead of 2019-2020
  • If independent directors have not been able to hold even one meeting, the same shall not be a violation

 

Companies Provisions

  • For Newly incorporated companies: requirement to file COB within 6 months of incorporation; additional time of 6 months extended for them
  • Company director who does not comply with minimum residency requirement of 182 days u/s 149, would not be treated as a violation
  • Requirement to create a deposit reserve of 20% of deposits maturing in the year; this can be complied with by 30-June-2020

 

IBC

  • Threshold for Bankruptcy amount moved from INR 1 lakh to INR 1 crore
  • If situation continues, then we can consider suspending 7, 9 and 10 of the Insolvency Act to prevent companies from entering bankruptcy

 

Fisheries

  • Sanitary import permits for shrimp stock, that would have expired between 01-Mar15-April would be extended by 3 months
  • Delay up to 1 month in the arrival of consignments would be condoned; would not be considered as a delay
  • Rebooking of quarantine cubicles for cancelled consignments in aquatic quarantine facility would be allowed
  • Verification of documents and Grant of NOC would be done in 3 days instead of 7 days

 

Department of Financial Services

  • Debit card holders withdrawing cash, can do it free of charge for next 3 months
  • No minimum balance needed
  • Reduce bank charges for digital trade transactions for all trade finance consumers

 

Commerce

  • For all practical purposes, principle adopted by any activity undertaken in commerce, for procedural and eligibility related issues, timelines will be extended, however there will be no extension or modification of the schemes.