The government on Wednesday announced that it would issue all pending income tax refunds up to Rs 5 lakh immediately. The decision is expected to benefit around 14 lakh taxpayers across the country, Finance Ministry said. In addition, the government also decided to issue all pending goods and services tax (GST) and custom refunds providing relief to around 1 lakh business entities including micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Rs 18,000 crore worth of total refund would be granted, the government added. The move comes amid the ongoing 21-day lockdown in the country to fight against the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
"In the context of the COVID-19 situation and with a view to provide immediate relief to the business entities and individuals, it has been decided to issue all the pending income-tax refunds up to Rs 5 lakh, immediately. This would benefit around 14 lakh taxpayers," Finance Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. "It has also been decided to issue all pending GST and custom refunds which would provide benefit to around 1 lakh business entities, including MSME. Thus, the total refund granted will be approximately Rs. 18,000 crore."
In context of COVID-19 situation & to grant immediate relief to taxpayers, GOI has decided to issue all pending income-tax refunds upto Rs.5 lakh & GST/Custom refunds with immediate effect.@nsitharaman@nsitharamanoffc@Anurag_Office@FinMinIndia@PIB_India@cbic_india#StaySafepic.twitter.com/sF0cU8WyA1— Income Tax India (@IncomeTaxIndia) April 8, 2020
Steps have been taken to lessen the economic burden of coronavirus outbreak. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, last month, had listed eight specific sections under the Rs 1.7 lakh crore relief package that will be covered under the cash transfer part of the economic package. These sections include farmers, MNREGA workers, poor widows, pensioners and divyangs, women who have Jan Dhan accounts, beneficiaries of Ujjwal Yojana, women from self-help groups (SHGs) dealing with National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), organised sector workers, and construction workers. Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in March had announced liquidity stimulus measures to the tune of Rs 3.7 lakh crore including a 75 bps cut in repo rate and 100 bps cut in cash reserve ratio (CRR).