The gems and jewellery sector, already reeling under the Covid 19 storm that is estimated to have caused losses of over Rs 75,000 crore in retail sales and over 50 per cent reduction in exports, has welcomed the regulatory relaxations announced by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Colin Shah, Vice Chairman, Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), said the relaxations will give some relief to worried entrepreneurs and they are eagerly awaiting the economic relief financial package to be announced by the government.
The exporters welcomed the announcement that customs will now function as essential services and will be working 24X7 until June 30, 2020, and the extension in the last date for filing I-T returns and GST returns (March 2020, April 2020, May 2020 and composite returns). "The decision that companies with annual turnover of less than Rs 5 crore will not be levied any interest, penalty or late fees on GST till June 30, 2020 will help MSMEs in the gems & jewellery sector and the reduced interest rate at 9 per cent for late deposits of TDS till June 30, 2020 will help the sector," he said.
GJEPC also welcomed the extension of last date for schemes such as Vivaad Se Vishwas and Sabka Vishwas Scheme for businessmen, reduction in interest rates for penalty being charged for late payments and decision to extend filing dates for all notices, appeals, proceedings and filing dates till June 30, 2020.
Fulfilling the requirement to meet regulatory deadlines before the end of the fiscal year was suffocating various industries while Covid-19 paralysed their business.
"The 8-point economic relief announced - Income Tax compliance; GST compliance; Customs compliance; MCA compliance; IBC compliance; Fisheries compliance, Bank-related compliance and Commerce-related compliance is a great push for companies to realign their regulatory compliances," said Niranjan Hiranandani - President - ASSOCHAM.
Shishir Baijal, Chairman & Managing Director, Knight Frank India said regulatory relaxations given by the Finance Minister in the form of extension in timeline for filing of tax returns will provide much required reprieve to individuals and businesses in the small and medium scale sector in these trying times. "Measures like no late fees, penalties and interest on deferred payment for companies with turnover less than Rs 5 crore is a step in the right direction as SMEs will be severely hit by the current economic turmoil. The SMEs would also benefit from the raising of threshold for default under the IBC," he said.
The FM relaxing certain statutory and regulatory compliances is a welcome move, said Rukshad Davar, Partner and Head at M&A Practice Group.
"The threshold of Rs 1 lakh being raised to Rs 1 crore under the IBC will prevent small claims being made before the NCLT. The FM also suggests some relief economic package to be announced for defaults in payments which will be prevalent during these times," he adds.