Debit cardholders who withdraw cash from any bank's ATM can do it free of charge for the next 3 months, announced Nirmala Sitharaman. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
As the nation reels under the effects of the unprecedented pandemic of COVID-19 disease, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday announced a slew of measures to soothe the frayed nerves of the corporate sector and those in the service class. The last date of filing the income tax returns for the Financial Year 18-19 has been extended till June 30th. Other extensions include PAN-Aadhaar linking, GST returns and Composition returns. The last date for all these has been extended till June 30th. Other measures include, the mandatory requirement of holding board meetings is being relaxed by a period of 60 days, this relaxation is for the next two quarters. In a huge relief for importers and exporters, customs clearance has now been declared as an essential service. The provision will be in force till June 30th. "For newly incorporated companies there is a requirement to file declaration for the commencement of business within 6 months of incorporation. Now we are giving them an additional time of 6 more months," Sitharaman said in a press conference that she addressed via video conferencing. (Coronavirus Outbreak LIVE Updates)
To ease the cash crunch for the common man, the Finance Minister announced that, 'debit cardholders who withdraw cash from any bank's ATM can do it free of charge for the next 3 months.' She also said that there shall not be any minimum balance requirement fee (in bank accounts). Every attention is being given to the economy, Prime Minister is monitoring situation himself, Sitharaman asserted. "Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code default limit has been increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1 crore," her deputy Anurag Thakur announced.
Meanwhile, Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar on Tuesday asked all state chief ministers to provide financial aid to over 3.5 crore construction workers from Rs 52,000-crore construction cess available with them amid Covid-19 outbreak. An advisory has been issued on March 24, by Gangwar to all chief ministers, Lieutenant Governors of all the states/union territories. In the letters, the minister said: "Under Section 60 of the Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) Act, 1996, all states/UTs have been advised to transfer funds in the account of construction workers through DBT (direct benefit transfer) mode from the cess fund collected by the Labour Welfare Boards under the BOCW cess Act."
(With agency inputs)