Extend deadline for meeting compliances; provide stimulus for industry: PHD Chamber to FM

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New Delhi, Apr 22 (PTI) PHD Chamber of Commerce on Thursday requested Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for extension of various timelines for compliances, including for filing tax and GST returns, amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During an interaction with the finance minister, the chamber also pitched for a stimulus package for MSMEs.

'We have asked for extension of timelines for compliance under various laws including Income Tax Act, Companies Act and GST Act in these difficult times. Like last year, the government should consider extending the timeline for compliance, maybe till June-end,' said Sanjay Aggarwal, president, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI).

Penal action or prosecution is initiated if a business entity fails to meet the deadline.

The chamber also sought extension of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) for MSMEs till March 31, 2022 and enhancing additional credit limit from 20 per cent to 40 per cent, he said after the virtual interaction with the finance minister.

Till February-end, Rs 2.46 lakh crore of the total Rs 3 lakh crore was sanctioned under the ECLGS by commercial banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs).

The scheme, initially valid till October 2020, was extended to November-end.

The scheme was again extended in November as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 package till March 31, 2021 by including the 26 stressed sectors identified by the RBI-constituted K V Kamath committee.

Aggarwal said the finance minister has stated that the government will not propose a national lockdown as the country is in a better position today as against in the first phase of the pandemic.

The spread should be curbed through micro-containment zones and there is no need to halt the economy, Sitharaman told the industry chamber.

She also said the government has taken extreme steps with close monitoring between the Centre and state governments for free movement of oxygen supply to cater to the surge in demand.

Provision of oxygen, vaccines and their logistics to people affected by coronavirus are being ensured, given the recent surge in cases of COVID-19 pandemic across the country, Sitharaman said.

For oxygen supply, the government is identifying idle manufacturing capacities to match the demand and supply in the country, she noted.

Sitharaman also said the Prime Minister himself is monitoring the situation with eminent doctors and vaccine manufacturers. 'The import of vaccines, certified by international bodies has been allowed in India; support is being extended to manufacturers by the Government by way of giving advances and vaccination drive against coronavirus has been allowed for people aged 18 years and above from May 1, 2021,' she said.

The government has taken many steps to curtail black marketing and hoarding of critical medicines, like Remdesivir, which has been deleted from the export list and there will be no further export of the medicine, she added.

The is the second interaction of the finance minister with India Inc this week. She had interacted with CII and FICCI on Wednesday. PTI DP ABM ABM