Coronavirus outbreak: FM Nirmala Sitharaman eases compliance burden to reduce pain

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressing a press conference on Tuesday. She has announced several steps to mitigate the impact of the new coronavirus outbreak on the economy.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a slew of measures to address the new coronavirus outbreak. Addressing journalists on Tuesday through video conferencing, Sitharaman announced several steps for relief in areas such as income tax, GST, customs & excise, corporate affairs, fisheries, banking and trade. Minister of state Anurag Singh Thakur, finance secretary AB Pandey and economic affairs secretary Atanu Chakraborty were also present.

Here are the highlights of the concessions announced by the Union government.

READ: Surviving Coronavirus scare: A wish list for Indian economy, industry

Income tax

  • Last date for filing income tax returns for FY 2018-19 has been extended from March 31 to June 30.
  • Deadline for Aadhaar-PAN linking extended from March 31 to June 30.
  • No additional payment of 10% in vivad se vishwas scheme if payment is made by June 30.
  • Deadlines for issue of notice, intimation, notification, approval, sanction, filing of appeal, furnishing of return, statements, applications and reports for completion of proceedings by the authority and compliance by taxpayers under Income Tax Act, Wealth Tax Act, Prohibition of Benami Property Transaction Act, Black Money Act, STT law, CTT Law, Equalization Levy law, Vivad Se Vishwas law extended to June 30.
  • For delayed payments of advanced tax, self-assessment tax, regular tax, TDS, TCS, equalization levy, STT, CTT made between March 20 and June 30, interest rate has been cut to 9% from 12-18% per annum. No late fee/penalty shall be charged for delays.

GST/indirect tax

  • Last date for filing GSTR-3B due in March, April and May has been extended to June 30. They will not be charged interest, late fee, and penalty.
  • Deadline for opting for composition scheme is extended till the last week of June. Last date for making payments for the quarter ending March 31 and for filing of return for 2019-20 by the composition dealers has been extended to June 30.
  • Last date for filing annual GST returns for 2018-19 has been extended till the last week of June.
  • Deadline for payment under Sabkha Vishwas Scheme extended to June 30. No interest will be charged for this period.

READ: Coronavirus outbreak: India’s agriculture sector will be the hardest hit


  • 24X7 custom clearance till June 30.
  • Deadline for issue of notice, notification, approval order, sanction order, filing of appeal, furnishing applications and reports under the Customs Act and other allied laws extended to June 30.

Financial services

  • Debit cardholders of any bank can withdraw cash from any banks’ ATM for three months. The minimum balance fee also has been waived for three months.
  • Bank charges has been reduced for digital for all trade finance consumers for three months.