Amidst concerns of the slowing economy, job cuts and lack of liquidity in the market, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of India just announced a range of initiatives to help the Indian economy grow. “Our government has kept reform at the top of our agenda, since 2014. We are maintaining the reform momentum, be it regarding labour reforms or environmental clearance,” said the finance minister.
The government also said that the Indian GDP growth was higher than that in several other countries. “Indian GDP growth continues high above other countries. Consumption growth is down in not just emerging but also advanced economies. Volatile situation has developed in global trade,” added Nirmala Sitharaman.
Some of the measures announced are as follows:
- CSR violations will not be treated as a criminal offence and would be a civil liability.
- Issue of summons, IT orders, letters will all be conducted through a centralized computer system and will also contain a computer-generated Unique document identification number.
- Relief from the enhanced surcharge on long term and short term capital gains.
- Withdrawal of Angel tax provisions for startups registered with DPIIT as well as their investors. Withdrawal of Sec 56(2)(viib) of IT Act Dedicated cell at CBDT for addressing challenges of startups; Sec 56(2) (vii)(b) to not apply to DPIIT registered startups.
- To benefit MSMEs, small traders, corporate, and so on upfront release of Rs 70,000 crore through PSBs have been announced.
- Online tracking of loan applications to customers, MSMEs and other will be facilitated.
- Banks have agreed to link repo rate to interest rate; this will cause reduced EMIs for housing and vehicle loans and other retail loans.
- All pending GST refund due to MSMEs will be paid within 30 days and in future all GST refunds will be paid within 60 days of application.
- As far as the automotive sector is concerned, BSIV vehicles bought before 31st March 2020 to remain operational for their full period of registration.