Highlights from Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s address

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Highlights from Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s address

Following the announcement of a massive Rs 20 lakh crore relief package by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 12, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the next day viz May 13, addressed the nation sharing the details of the relief package from the Government of India.

As one of the major focus of the PM’s speech was on making India ‘self-reliant’ (Atmanirbhar Bharat), the Finance Minister supporting the PM’s address reiterated the importance of “self-reliant India”. Adding on she said, the package announced for making India self-reliant is to provide a stimulus to the growth in the economy which has been hard-hit by the COVID crisis.

A few key highlights from the Finance Minister’s speech:

  • In order to extend a helping hand to the crippling MSME sector, the Finance Minister announced collateral-free automatic loans worth Rs 3 lakh crore. Moreover, she also laid out a clear classification of the micro, small and medium enterprises based on their investment and turnover.

  • The Minister said, global tenders for government procurement up to and below Rs 200 crore would no longer be allowed.

  • Addressing the taxpayers, the Minister announced a 25 percent reduction in the rates of Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) and Tax Collection at Source (TCS), with effect from May 14, 2020, to March 21, 2021.

  • The date for filing the income tax returns (ITR) to November 30, 2020. Also, the dates for tax audit has also been extended to October 31, 2020.

  • Talking on the provident funds, she announced that the EPF contribution is reduced for businesses and workers for three months to 10 percent from 12 percent.

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