Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Press Conference highlights

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FM Nirmala Sitharaman’s Press Conference on COVID-19 Economic Relief Package announced measures to help businesses, including micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Highlights of the Press Conference:

Due date for all income tax returns extended to November 30

Vivaad Se Vishwas schemes is extended to December 31, 2020 without any extra payments.

All pending refunds of all charitable businesses and certain other groups to be issued immediately.

Due date of filing income tax returns has been extended to November 30, 2020.

The date of debarring assessments (which was said to be September 30, 2020) has now been extended to December 31, 2020. Those getting barred on March 31, 2021 are being extended to September 30, 2021.

Tax deductions: From May 14, 2020 till March 31, 2021 – TDS and TCS rates to be reduced by 25 per cent. This will give the people a benefit of Rs 50,000 crore, says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Real-estate: Urban development ministry will issue advisory to the States and Union Territories , and accordingly extend the registration and completion of projects. No individual applications will be required.

All Central Government agencies, including Railways, will extend the contracts for projects up to six months. This will be a major relief to the contractors.

Discoms: Will introduce infusion of Rs 90,000 crores

Rs 45,000 crore to be given to NBFCs under credit guarantee scheme. First 20 per cent loss will be borne by the Government of India.

Rs 30,000 crore special liquidity scheme to be introduced for micro-units and NBFCs. This will benefit NBFCs, especially those supporting MSMEs.

To ensure more take-home salary and to provide more relief to employers, statutory PF contribution is being reduced 10 per cent for 12 per cent. No change for Central PSUs.

Employee Provident Fund (EPF) establishments to be given liquidity relief of Rs 2500 crore for the next three months as welll – June, July, August. This will benefit 70.22 lakh employees, says Finance Minsiter.

E-market linkage for MSMEs to be made accessbile. Within next 45 days, all pending payments will be cleared.

Global tenders will be disallowed for tenders of up to Rs 200 crores.

Limits of investments of micro industries to be raised upto Rs 1 crore, says Union Finance Minister. Micro units can have turnover of up to Rs 5 crore.

Manufacturing MSME and Service MSME will be defined similarly. Service investments will receive benefits of MSME even if MSME’s investments are upto Rs 1 crore.

Introduces ‘Fund of Funds’. Finance Ministry will infuse 50,000 crore into MSMEs that have potential and who need hand-holding during Covid-19 crisis. This will help MSMEs to be listed on markets.

Stressed MSMEs to get Rs 20,000 crore liquidity, two lakh MSMEs that are stressed will be eligible for it

Moratorium for loans till October-end. Government to assure 100 per cent credit guarantee.

Nearly 3 lakh loans for MSMEs. Finance Minister says these will be collateral free loans. 45 lakh MSMEs to benefit from the schemes.

Finance Minister announces 15 different measures, including six different measures for the benefit of MSMEs.

Self-reliant India does not mean cutting off from rest of the world, says Sitharaman.

Eco package to spur growth, build a self-reliant India