The Key Relief measures provided by the Ministry of Finance to mitigate the impact of pandemic COVID-19 are as under:-
• The Hon’ble Finance Minister, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman has announced Rs 1.70 Lakh Crore relief package under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana for the poor to help them fight the battle against pandemic COVID-19.
• The relief package includes Insurance cover of Rs 50 Lakh per health worker, 5 kg wheat or rice and 1 kg of preferred pulses for free for the next three months to 80 crore poor people, Rs 500 per month for next three months for 20 crore women Jan Dhan account holders, increase in MNREGA wage to Rs 202 a day from Rs 182 to benefit 13.62 crore families, among others.
• The Hon’ble Finance Minister, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman also announced several relief measures relating to Statutory and Regulatory compliance matters across Sectors in view of pandemic COVID-19 outbreak.
• The relaxations relating to Statutory and Regulatory compliance include the extension of the last date for income tax returns for (FY 18-19) from 31st March, 2020 to 30th June, 2020, 24X7 Custom clearance till the end of 30th June, 2020, extension in last date for filing GSTR-3B due in March, April and May 2020 by the last week of June, 2020 for those having an aggregate annual turnover less than Rs. 5 Crore, the extension of payment date under Sabka Vishwas Scheme till 30th June, 2020, among others.
• The Reserve Bank of India has allowed Banks to declare a 3- month moratorium on all term loans outstanding as on March 1, 2020, as well as on working capital facilities. Accordingly, the Indian Banks Association has answered a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the technicalities of the moratorium to help businesses/ individuals.
• RBI has also announced new measures on 17th April 2020 to maintain adequate liquidity in the system, facilitate bank credit flow, ease financial stress, and enable the formal working of markets. Some of the key measures include conducting of TLTRO 2.0 for Rs 50,000 crore, allowing banks to use surplus into the economy, reduced reverse repo rate by 25 bps from 4% to 3.75% under LAF; Rs 50,000 crore special finance facility to be provided to financial institutions such as NABARD, SIDBI, NHB; NPA count shall not include the 90-day moratorium period; Liquidity coverage ratio requirement of scheduled commercial banks being brought down from 100% to 80% with immediate effect; all accounts where moratorium or deferment has been applied, there would be an asset classification standstill; loans given by NBFCs to real estate companies to get the similar benefit as given by scheduled commercial banks; among others.
• So far under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package more than 32crore poor people have received financial assistance of Rs29,352crore, 5.29 Crore beneficiaries have been distributed free ration of food grains, 97.8 Lakh free Ujjwala cylinders have been delivered, the first installment of PM-KISAN i.e., Rs14,946crore has been transferred to 7.47crore farmers, among others.
• A digital pipeline has been laid by the Government through linking of Jan-Dhan accounts as well as other accounts with the account holders’ mobile numbers and Aadhaar [Jan DhanAadhaar-Mobile (JAM). Using the digital payment infrastructure in the country, more than 30 crore poor people have received financial assistance of Rs 28,256 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package announced by Hon’ble Union Finance Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman.
• In the context of pandemic COVID-19 situation, the Central Government has granted exemption from Basic Customs Duty and Health cess, on the import of Ventilators, Face masks, surgical Masks, among others, with immediate effect. This basic customs duty exemption shall be available upto the 30th of September, 2020.
• The Government has provided relief for third party Motor Insurance & Health policyholders in the light of pandemic COVID-19 lockdown. The Ministry of Finance has issued notifications on April 1, 2020, stating that the renewal dates of Health and Motor insurance policies falling between March 25, 2020, to April 14, 2020, are extended till April 21, 2020, due to lockdown. Therefore, existing policies that are falling due for renewal from March 25, 2020, to April 14, 2020, can be renewed up till April 21, 2020.
Source: Press Information Bureau (PIB)