On March 24, 2020, Union Finance &Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman publicized necessitated relief measures for statutory and regulatory compliance matters related to Income Tax, GST, Customs & Central Excise, Corporate Affairs, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC) Fisheries, Banking Sector and Commerce.The information regarding the relief measures was provided through video conferencing in New Delhi. She was accompanied by Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur, Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Finance Secretary and Atanu Chakraborty, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs during the video conferencing.
- The decision regarding the statutory and regulatory relief measures has been taken due to the national shutdown to control the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus or Covid-19 infection.
Let’s go through the sector-wise key initiatives started as relief measures:
Income Tax (IT)
|3 month Extensions (From 31st March, 2020 to 30th June, 2020) on following parts of IT||Reduced interest rate on Tax deduction at source (TDS)|
||For delayed payments of TDSmade till June 30, 2020 reduced interest rate of 9%from 18%annually will be charged for this period. There will be no late fee or penalty for delay during this period.
Goods and Services Tax (GST)
|Extensions till 30th June, 2020on following parts of GST||Interest rates on late filings|
||No interest or late fee will be chargedfrom those having aggregate annual turnover less than Rs5 crore for filing GSTR-3B. While others will attract interest of9% per annum (Earlier 18%) from 15 days after due date i.e. 30th June 2020
The above mentioned date of 30th June 2020 may differ for specific regions which will have dates like 27, 29 or 30th.
–Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC): The existing threshold of default hiked to Rs1 crore from Rs 1 Lakh under section 4 of the IBC 2016to protect MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises).
–Additional time for new companies: Newly incorporated companies have been given an additional time of 6 months for filing a declaration about the commencement of business.
–Extension of date for Deposit reserve: Requirement to create a Deposit reserve of 20% of deposits maturing during the financial year 2020-21 before 30th April 2020 is extended till 30th June 2020.
–Board meeting rules relaxed for 60 days: The mandatory requirement of holding meetings of the Board of the companies within prescribed interval provided in the Companies Act (120 days), 2013, is extended by a period of 60 days till next two quarters i.e., till 30th September.
-For a director in any company, less than a minimum residency of 182 days is not treated as a violation.
-Applicability of Companies Auditors’ Report Order 2020 shifted to 2020-21 instead of from 2019-2020.
-15% of investment debentures maturing during a particular year in specified instruments before 30th April 2020 done so before 30th June 2020 would be required also newly incorporated companies are required to file a declaration for Commencement of Business within 6 months of incorporation. An additional time of 6 more months shall be allowed.
-The Custom clearance has made 24*7 as an essential service till end of 30th June, 2020 to support exports and imports of India.
-Time limit for any compliance under the Customs Act and other allied Laws expiring between March 20-June 29, 2020is extended to 30th June 2020.
-Debit cardholders to withdraw cash for free from any other banks’ ATM for 3 months.
-Minimum (account) balance feewaived and bank charges for digital trade transactions for all trade finance consumers reduced.
Department of Fisheries
-All Sanitary Permits (SIPs) for import of SPF Shrimp Broodstock and other Agriculture inputs expiring between 01.03.2020 to 15.04.2020 extended by 3 months.
-Delay upto 1 month in arrival of consignments is approved.
-The verification of documents and grant of No Objection Certificate (NOC) for Quarantine would be relaxed from 7 days to 3 days.
Department of Commerce
Extension of timelines for various compliance and procedures will be given in detailed notificationto be issued by Ministry of Commerce.
About Union Finance Ministry:
Departments– 5: Department of Economic Affairs, Department of Expenditure, Department of Revenue, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, and Department of Financial Services.