New Delhi, March 24: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday made big announcements on Income Tax return filing deadlines, GST, Customs and Central Excise, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code among others. During a video conference press meet, Sitharaman said that an economic relief package is being worked out and shall be announced soon. "Work is going on and we are very close to coming up with an economic package that will be announced sooner rather than later", Sitharaman said. The Finance Minister said that the government has come up with a comprehensive plan about statutory and regulatory compliance matters.

The Finance Minister also announced the extension of the deadlines of income tax filing, Aadhaar-PAN Linking among others in a bid to provide relief amid the coronavirus crisis. The Finance Ministry announced compliance and regulation on Income tax, GST, Customs and Central Excise, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, Fisheries and Bank-related compliance. All last dates and deadlines of document submission and compliance, has been moved to June 30. What is Article 360? All About The Law Which Allows The Centre to Impose Financial Emergency.

Highlights of Nirmala Sitharaman's speech:

  1. he last date for the income tax return for the financial year 18-19 is extended to 30th June 2020.
  2. For delayed payments interest rate has been reduced from 12% to 9%: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
  3. The deadline for Aadhaar-Pan linkage extended till June 30, 2020 from the earlier deadline which was March 31, 2020
  4. The Finance Minister said that Vivaad se Vishawas scheme has also been extended to June 30,2020. There will not be any 10 percent additional charge from now till June 30.
  5. The last date for March, April, May 2020 GST returns and Composition returns extended to June 30th, 2020
  6. No late fee or penalty will be charged for companies with a turnover Rs 5 crore or lower that file GST late. Those with a turnover of more than Rs 5 crore, will pay a reduced interest rate of 9 percent.
  7. Companies and board that do not hold even one meeting with their independent directors amid lockdown will not be held under violation of rules, says Sitharaman.
  8. Payment date under the ‘Sabka Vishwas’ scheme, which was for settling disputes in the indirect tax regime, has been extended till June 30, 2020.
  9. For newly incorporated companies there is a requirement to file declaration for the commencement of business within 6 months of incorporation. 'We are giving them an additional time of 6 more months', says Sitharaman.
  10. The government on Tuesday said that customs clearance now an essential service, till 30 June, 2020 and it will be working 24/7.
  11. Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code default limit has been increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1 crore, Says MoS Finance Anurag Thakur.
  12. The Finance Minister said that the threshold of default extended to Rs 1 cr from existing Rs 1 lakh now to prevent insolvency proceedings against MSMEs.
  13. If situation continues beyond April, govt to consider suspending Sections of IBC for 6 months to stop cos being forced into insolvency: FM
  14. Debit card holders who withdraw cash from any bank's ATM can do it free of charge for the next 3 months, says Sitharaman
  15. Sitharaman also stated that there shall not be any minimum balance requirement fee (in bank accounts).

The Finance Minister added saying that the regulators, Reserve Bank, and Finance Ministry are all working together to keep monitoring the developments and volatility in the stock market. Sitharaman stated that  SEBI has come up with some set of guidelines and also stated its position.

Earlier in the day, Sitharaman had tweeted hinting that the government was readying an economic package to help us through the Corona lockdown. "Even as we are readying an economic package to help us through the Corona lockdown (on priority, to be announced soon) I will address the media at 2pm today, specifically on statutory and regulatory compliance matters. Via video conference", she tweeted.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 24, 2020 02:42 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website