Updated: August 23, 2019 8:49:25 pm
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Friday held a presser to address the doubts over the economic performance and government’s growth agenda. From MSMEs to FPIs to the automotive sector crisis, here is how the finance minister addressed the media on measures to boost the economy and tackle the current situation:
CSR violations decriminalised
The finance minister today announced that CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) violation will be treated as a civil liability and not as a criminal offence. She said the Ministry of Corporate Affairs will review the sections under the Companies Act.
“CSR violations… not be treated as criminal offence and will be civil liability,” Sitharaman, who also holds the charge of the corporate affairs ministry, said.
The government has provided for companies through revised orders, time for completing ongoing projects towards fulfilling their CSR obligations.
Enhanced surcharge on FPIs removed
Giving in to the demands of overseas investors, the finance minister announced rollback of enhanced surcharge on foreign portfolio investors levied in the Budget.
“Withdrawal of super-rich surcharge on FPIs, domestic investor will be for entire fiscal year,” the Revenue Secretary added who was also present at the press briefing.
Surcharge on long and short term capital gains arising from transfer of equity shares has been withdrawn, she said. “The pre-Budget position is restored,” the minister said.
Govt to infuse Rs 70,000-cr capital into public sector banks
Sitharaman also announced the upfront capital infusion of Rs 70,000 crore into public sector banks, a move aimed at boosting lending and improving liquidity situation.
The move is expected to generate additional lending and liquidity in the financial system to the tune of Rs 5 lakh crore, she said.
Filing IT returns will be simplified
The filing of ITR has now been simplified, Sitharaman said at the presser, asserting that the new system has cut down on the tedious task a taxpayer has to go through.
Angel tax provisions for start-ups removed
In good news for start-ups, the angel tax has been removed, she said. There will be a member from CBDT who’ll handle it, she added.
BS-IV vehicles bought till March 2020 to remain operational
The finance minister said that the BS-IV vehicles bought till March 2020 will remain operational for entire period of registration.
“The BS-IV vehicles was a big issue. There was confusion because the government wanted to encourage electric vehicles, she said.
She also announced that the ban on the purchase of new government vehicles will be lifted.
Govt to enhance fund flows for infra, housing projects
Moving on to Infrastructure, Sitharaman also proposed to establish an organisation to provide credit enhancement for infrastructure and housing projects with an aim to enhance fund flows towards such projects. The minister said that in order to improve domestic bond market, the finance ministry will work with the RBI to make it more conducive for investors and bond issuers, as well as facilitate increased trading for price discovery.
MSMEs to get pending GST refunds within 30 days
Addressing the liquidity shortage in the MSME sector, the government on Friday announced that all their pending GST refunds will be paid within 30 days. While announcing a slew of measures to boost growth, Sitharaman said that in future, all GST refunds of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will be paid within 60 days from the date of application.
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