No more FPI surcharge, end of tax terrorism, GST refunds – Key highlights from Nirmala Sitharaman’s stimulus package

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In a bid to allay growing concerns of investors and corporate houses, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on August 23 announced a string of measures to revive a flagging economy. As expected, the enhanced surcharge on FPIs has been withdrawn. The government has also decided to withdraw enhanced surcharge levied on long and short-term capital gains. She also said that CSR violations will not be treated as a criminal offense. MCA will review sections in Companies Act on CSR violations. For startups and their investors, angel tax provision has been withdrawn. Also, banks will issue improved one-time settlement plan for MSMEs, Sitharaman informed. She said that banks have decided to launch repo-rate linked products and there will be online tracking of loan applications of home and auto loans. 

On the issue of pending GST refunds for MSMEs, she said that they will be paid within 30 days and in future, all GST refund matters will be resolved within 60 days. NBC’s will now be able to use Aadhaar-authenticated KYCs to simplify the taking up of credit, she added. “I want to assure that we are responsive to changes in the economy. Reform is a continuous process for this government. Now, faster approvals are being given for mergers and acquisitions. GST filing will also be simplified further with fewer forms and will meet GSTN officials to remove further glitches in GST filing process,” she told reporters. Expressing optimism about the country’s state of the economy, Sitharaman said India’s growth still much higher than global growth. “US, Germany is seeing inverted yield curves, indicating lower growth,” she said.

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