The Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, on Wednesday, May 13, came forward to present the first tranche of the Rs. 20 lac crore economic stimulus package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, May 12. The Finance Minister unveiled a range of relieving strategies adopted for the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) hit by the ongoing Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown.
FM Sitharaman informed that the Economic Stimulus package of Rs. 20 lac crore rests on five pillars viz; Economy, Infrastructure, Technology-driven Systems, Demography and Demand. She further revealed that her government is eyeing at various factors of production. These factors include Land, Labour, Liquidity and Laws. She also emphasized on making a local brand of the nation worldwide known.
We give you key highlights of the complete announcements made by FM Sitharaman in her press conference on Wednesday.
1. The Finance Ministry has given a big relief to the MSMEs and other businesses by introducing a Rs. 3 lac crore of collateral-free automatic loans. The Ministry revealed that Businesses/MSMEs can take emergency credit of up to 20% of the entire outstanding credit as on Feb 29, 2020.
2. Employee Provident Fund (EPF) reduced to 10% from existing rate of 12% contribution from employee & employer. This will increase the employee’s in-hand salary. However, Government employees will continue getting 12% contribution from the employer side.
3. As per the Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme 2.0 for Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), first 20% loss will be borne by the Government of India as Guarantor. This will help the medium sector enterprises while taking the credit facilities where Government of India will become the guarantor.
4. The income tax return filing for the FY 2019-20 was to be done by July 31, 2020, which is now extended till October 31, 2020.
5. The date of income tax assessment which was to bar on Sep 30, 2020 has now been extended to Dec 31, 2020. Whereas those income tax assessment which were to be barred on March 31, 2021 have now been extended to Sep 30, 2021.