In the first tranche today, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman shared the details of the economic package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday. Themed around the ‘Self-reliant India’ campaign, the package is aimed at almost all sections of the economy – the daily wage labourers, the middle-class workers, farmers, SMEs, as well as larger industries.
The economic package, amounting to a whopping Rs 20 lakh crore, was announced by PM Modi during his address to the nation last night, where he said that this step is vital in direction of stabilising the economy in a post-COVID world. The Finance Minister is expected to share details of the package. through a series of press conferences.
In today’s press conference, Sitharaman offered a major relief to the income taxpayers through her declaration of extension for income tax return (ITR) deadline. The last date for filing ITR has now been extended from July 31 to November 30. The tax audit deadline has also been shifted from September 30 to October 31.
Cutting the TDS, TCS rates by 25 per cent, the FM also said that the TDS reduction will infuse liquidity of Rs 50,000 crore. The TDS cuts will be applicable for all purposes, and are to be come into effect from May 14. In addition to this, the FM also said that all pending payments are to be issued immediately.
The FM’s presser also brought along some announcements regarding the EPF. In order to increase liquidity, the statutory PF contribution has been reduced to 10 per cent from a previous 12 per cent. Also, the Government of India will pay the PF for another three months, thus benefitting about 72 lakh employees.
Another major decision came in the form of a change in the definition of MSMEs. Along with this, borrowers of up to Rs 25 crores outstanding are eligible for collateral-free automatic loans. The announcements are expected to benefit MSMEs the most. As many as 45 lakh units will be able to resume business activity with assistance from the package.