FM announces slew of compliance relief measures

Filing of IT returns, GST, Adhaar–Pan linking deadlines extended for 3 months

ATM, account minimum balance charges quashed

NEW DELHI : The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday a slew of relief measures including extension of compliance deadlines for filing IT returns(ITR), GST, Adhaar-Pan card linking etc, for three months.

The measures have been announced in the wake of the fear mounting among the people as the number of COVID 19 cases has been rising by the day. As per records, three states – Kerala, Maharashtra, and Karnataka, account for about half of all active COVID-19 cases currently in India

Sebi had a few days ago announced relaxations for companies in filing their fourth quarter and annual financials. Corporates have also been allowed other time reliefs on complying with deadlines.

The FM took this opportunity to waive the fee for using other banks’ ATMs as well as to dispense with the penal charges imposed by banks for not maintaining minimum balance – which has been a long pending demand from the general public.

The measures are aimed at extending succour to the people at a time when the country has been brought under a complete shutdown to contain the fast spread of the COVID 19 infection.

As per the new announcement, the last date for filing the income tax return (ITR) for the FY 2018-19 has been extended from March 31 to June 30, 2020.

The deadline for filing returns of goods and services tax (GST) for March, April and May this year has also been extended till June 30. The government has also extended the last date for linking PAN card with Aadhaar from March 31 to June 30.

The millions of ordinary bank account holders have been freed from the burden of maintaining a minimum average monthly balance as the penal fee for non-maintenance of minimum balance has been quashed by FM.

FM, who said the board meeting rules are relaxed for 60 days, also added that the applicability of Companies Auditors’ Report will be effective only from 2020-21 instead of 2019-2020.

For newly incorporated companies, there is a requirement to make a declaration about the commencement of operations within six months of incorporation. “Now they are getting an additional time of six months to comply with that requirement,” she said.

Economic package

Sitharaman said the finance ministry is currently working on an economic package to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on the Indian economy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced setting up of a task force, to be headed by Sitharaman, to look into measures to limit the economic pains inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The task force has several layers of sub committees with particular domain knowledge in different areas in order to advise the task force while drafting the package.


Big relief for SMEs

The new package has extended a big relief for the SME units waiting to be brought under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). The threshold of default for SMEs has been raised 100 fold from the present Rs1 lakh to Rs1 crore.

The threshold of default for SMEs has been set at

Now, as part of the new relief package, the SME sector has been given a long rope by raising the threshold, thus keeping on check the SMEs from falling into default category.

“We will watch the situation and if we find that the situation doesn’t improve even beyond April 30, 2020, we may consider suspending IBC Section 7, 9 and 10 for six months to stop companies from being forced into insolvency,” Sitharaman added.








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