India Inc on Tuesday said the government's move to extend the deadline for filing income tax and GST returns and raise threshold of default that could trigger insolvency of a company would help businesses, especially MSMEs, tide over the negative impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the government has waived charges on cash withdrawals from ATMs of other banks as a precursor to a broader stimulus package for the economy distressed by the coronavirus outbreak.
"Waiver of penalty, late fee and interest on GST will also help industry cope up with the huge cash crunch, and thus, tide through these tough times," CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said.
Deloitte India Partner M S Mani said the extension of GST return filing timelines together with the deferment of e-invoicing and new returns announced earlier would allow businesses to focus on resumption of business processes once normalcy resumes in future.
Abhishek Jain, tax partner, EY, said, "Extended time for payment under the Sabka Vishwas Scheme as well is a welcome measure as companies were struggling for making the payment in the lockdown scenario."
Assocham President Niranjan Hiranandani said the industry looks forward for the broader economic packages like One time Roll Over for debt restructuring across the industries to be announced soon for resurrecting its economic health.
"These proactive steps are the need of the hour to mitigate some of the hardships that the businesses are going through," said Sohinder Gill, director general, Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles.
Suntuity Renewable Energy India Director (Operations) Imaan Javan said, "We express relief towards the finance minister's move of extending the date of filing IT and GST returns from March 31, 2020, to June 30, 2020. The decision taken by the finance minister is a timely move considering that the economy is on its knees as of now" said.
The last date for filing income tax returns for 2018-19 as well as that for linking PAN with Aadhaar has been extended by three months to June 30. The last date for filing GST annual returns for 2018-19, which is due on March 31, has also been extended till the last week of June.
As the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns across cities create large-scale economic disruption, Sitharaman announced that the threshold of loan default that could trigger insolvency proceedings has been raised to Rs 1 crore from the existing Rs 1 lakh now.
With lockdowns restricting movements, the government waived a minimum balance fee on the savings bank account as well as allow charge-free withdrawals from any bank ATM for three months. Also, bank charges for digital trade transactions for all trade finance consumers have been reduced.
For companies, it relaxed mandatory requirement of holding meetings of the board of directors by 60 days and waived the fee for late filings during the moratorium period.
Stating that the announcements done on Tuesday were to ease the burden of compliance on citizens during the lockdown period, Sitharaman said an economic relief package was in the works and it will be announced "sooner rather than later".
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)