Bengaluru: The country has come to a standstill, all thanks to coronavirus. 

With a financial emergency looming large, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Anurag Thakur, minister of state for finance and corporate affairs addressed a presser, detailing the steps they have taken to ease the burden. 

As regards filing of income tax returns, Nirmala Sitharaman said, “The last date for income tax filing for FY18-19 has been extended to June 30.”

On the issue of the interest, she said, “Interest on delayed payment reduced to 9% from 12%.”

The finance ministry has also decided to extend the Aadhaar, PAN linking date to be extended to 30th June.

The last date for filing GST returns has extended till June 30. 

Nirmala said, “Last date for filing March-April-May 2020 GST returns and Composition returns extended to June 30.” 

The ministry has also announced a relief to the small businesses, insolvency proceedings' threshold limit extended from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1 crore.

In what comes as good news for all debit cardholders, there would be no charge levied to withdraw cash from any other bank ATM for the next 3 months. 

The finance ministry has also waived off the minimum balance requirement in deposits for the next 3 months. 

On the Vivad se Vishwas scheme, the finance minister said that it has been extended to June 30, 2020 with no additional 10% charge. 

Taking into considerations the short-term transactions, she said Sebi has come up with some guidelines. 

She said, “On financial markets, all the regulators, the RBI and finance ministry, are closely monitoring the situation. Sebi has come up with some guidelines so that the short-term transactions are governed well.”

The finance minister also said that customs clearance will operate 24x7 as essential service.

She said, “During this period, although there is lockdown, we don't want to put importers and exporters in trouble. Therefore customs clearance will operate 24x7 as essential service.” 

The financial minister also gave good news to companies with less than Rs 5 crore turnover. 

She said, “Companies with less than Rs 5 crore turnover, no penalty or interest will be charged. For over Rs 5 crore (bigger companies), interest at a reduced rate of 9% will be charged.” 

She further added, “We may consider suspending Section 7, 9 and 10 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), at a later stage, if the present circumstances prevail beyond six months.”