Corona Virus (COVID-19) Update: 11 Financial Reliefs

COVID-19 cases in India have increased to 492 as much of the country is locked down to check the spread of the coronavirus disease that has claimed more than 14,500 lives globally. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who had received many requests from traders, companies, and others for relaxation in deadlines, held a Press conference on Tuesday at 2 pm and had announced some financial reliefs. 11 most prominent announcements are jotted below: 

• Free-of-charge cash withdrawals from ATMs of any bank for the next 3 months

• IMPS & NEFT charges waived off temporarily 

• Increase in the threshold of triggering insolvency cases for default under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) from Rs 1 Lakh to Rs 1 crore. 

• A waiver on charges for maintaining precise minimum balance in bank accounts

• The tax dispute resolution scheme "Vivad Se Vishwas" extended by 3 months to June 30. Also, those availing the scheme will not be required to pay 10% interest on principal as mandated under existing rules

• All compliances under the Income Tax Act, the Wealth Tax Act, Benami Transactions Act, Black Money Act, have been extended to June 30, 2020

• For the Financial year 2018-19, the last date for returns extended to June 30, 2020. For delayed payments made till June 30, the interest rate reduced to 9% from 12%

• The deadline for linking of Aadhaar card with PAN card extended from March 31 to June 30.

• Extension in the deadline for filing returns towards March, April, and May to June 30.

• Companies with a turnover of less than Rs 5 crore will not have to pay interest, penalty or late fee for filing delayed returns.

• Relaxation for companies to hold board meetings for the next two quarters, that is; If no board meeting is held for 2019-20, it will not be considered a violation.

It's good that the reliefs mentioned above have been announced. Still, some comforts that were expected by a vast majority of people regarding deferring the bank loan EMIs such as Personal Loans, Home Loans, Gold Loans, etc. and credit card payment due dates are yet not announced. It has become a great matter of concern for small scale business houses that how are they going to abide by these EMI obligations when they are locked in without any source of income. 

Many are already pleading the authorities via Twitter to waive off the penalty/consolidated charges being levied on EMI Cheque bounces, and ECS returns.

Corona Virus (COVID-19) Update: 11 Financial Reliefs Corona Virus (COVID-19) Update: 11 Financial Reliefs Reviewed by Rahmat on March 24, 2020 Rating: 5

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