NEW DELHI: The govt said on Wednesday it will immediately release as much as Rs18,000 crore in tax refunds to individuals and businesses to provide relief in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis. The move is set to benefit around 1.4 million individual taxpayers as well as 100,000 businesses.
The move follows the Narendra Modi administration’s recent step to offer relief in interest, fee and penalty for late filings of various statutory forms amid a nation-wide lockdown to fight back the pandemic. It has been decided to issue all the pending income-tax refunds up to Rs. five lakhs, immediately, said a statement from the ministry.
It also said that it has been decided to issue all pending Goods and Services Tax (GST) and customs duty refunds which would provide benefit to around 100,000 business entities including micro, small and medium enterprises. Easing the liquidity problem of individuals and businesses has been the key part of the government’s strategy to help them tide over the current crisis.
This includes loan repayment moratoriums and cash transfers to the needy, in addition to distribution of additional grains and pulses to the poor. Businesses are facing the challenge of paying wages to their workers with dwindling revenue streams during the lockdown period. Prime Minister Modi had last month appealed to businesses to adopt a humane approach and not to enforce any pay cuts.
Businesses which have borne the brunt of the lockdown would greatly be enthused at the prospect of getting GST refunds enabling quicker resumption of operations, said MS Mani, partner at Deloitte India.