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.