FinMin's Relief Measures to Support India's Fight Against COVID-19

Coronavirus Impact

On 24th March, PM Modi announced a complete lockdown of the nation for 21 days to stem Coronavirus. He also announced a ₹15,000 crore relief package. Additionally, Finance Minister Sitharaman declared temporary relaxations in taxes and eased certain norms in banking and finance to sustain the economy while India fights the pandemic.
Complete Coverage: Coronavirus

Crux of the Matter

Financial Services

  • For the next 3 months, debit cardholders can withdraw money from ATM of any bank without paying any charges.
  • Bank account holders are not required to keep a minimum balance in the bank for the next three months.
  • Charges for online transactions have been reduced.

Taxes

  • Deadline for paying income tax returns, GST returns, Adhar-PAN linking, Vivid se Vishwas Scheme, etc. has been extended till 30 June.
  • In the late filing of GST returns, companies with turnover less than 5 crores will not be charged any late fee or interest, and companies with a turnover above ₹5 crores will have to pay interest at 9% instead of 18%.
  • Rate of interest is reduced from 18% to 9% in delayed payment of TDS.

For Companies and Others

  • The mandatory requirement for holding a board meeting has been relaxed and the government has given an additional 60 days for the next 2 quarters.
  • For freshly incorporated businesses, the government has given an additional 6 months to file the declaration of commencement of business.
  • Violation of a company director not complying with the 182 days residence requirement will be relaxed.
  • In Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), the threshold amount for default has been raised to ₹1 crore from ₹1 lakh.
  • Customs clearance will work 24×7 till 30th June 2020/
Curiopedia

Lockdown or Stay-at-home order is an order from an authority to restrict movements of population as a mass quarantine strategy for suppressing or mitigating an epidemic or pandemic by ordering residents to stay home except for essential tasks or going to work in essential businesses. In many cases, outdoor activities are allowed. Nonessential businesses are either closed or changed to be working from home. In some cases, it has been implemented as a round-the-clock curfew. Similar measures have been used around the world, but the term lockdown is used instead. Lockdowns can limit movements or activities in a community while allowing most organizations to function normally, or limit movements or activities such that only organizations supplying basic needs and services can function normally. More Info

Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) of 1973 empowers an executive magistrate to issue orders in urgent cases of nuisance or apprehended danger. Though the scope of Section 144 is wider, it is often used to prohibit assembly of three or more persons when unrest is anticipated. Section 129 of the CrPC grants Executive Magistrates and Police officers in charge of a police station and above the power to order dispersal of, disperse and cause to be dispersed any unlawful assembly. Section 130 authorizes an Executive Magistrate to obtain the aid of the Armed Forces to disperse any such assembly, and Section 131 grants any Gazetted Officer of the Armed Forces the power to use his troops to disperse a manifestly dangerous assembly even without command from a Magistrate. More Info

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