In India’s Fight with Covid, Govt Salve for Wounded Mass

Centre has unleashed a host of financial sops for people who have suffered in the pandemic

In India’s Fight with Covid, Govt Salve for Wounded Mass
In India’s Fight with Covid, Govt Salve for Wounded Mass
Titlee Sen - 02 June 2021

The central government and the RBI have announced a slew of relief measures aimed at healing the economy left battered by the Covid-19 pandemic. All these financial sops are will help the general public at large to fight the woes of the crisis.

Let’s have a look at some of the major announcements made by the government towards this.

Trust Fund for Orphaned Children

The government has announced a trust fund for the upkeep of children orphaned by the pandemic. It includes school fees and a Rs 10 lakh assistance on reaching the age 18. Fixed deposits would be made in their names, and the PM Cares fund will contribute through a specifically devised programme to build the corpus for each of them. This fund will be utilised to provide a monthly financial support or stipend to students starting at the age of 18 for the next five years to meet their personal needs throughout their time in higher education. They will get one lump sum amount when they reach the age 23 for personal and professional use.

SME Loan Relief Measures

SBI Chairman Dinesh Khara recently shared how the Reserve Bank’s SME loan relief measures, announced on May 5 will be implemented and how state-run banks have developed a templated method for restructuring loans to individuals, small enterprises and MSMEs up to Rs 25 crore.

Customers can contact the bank for resolution by filing an application on its website or by manually submitting applications at the branch. The government would guarantee 100 per cent of loans up to Rs 2 crore to hospitals, nursing homes and other institutions for the installation of on-site oxygen generating systems, with interest rates limited at 7.5 per cent.

Non-refundable Advances for PF Subscribers

The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has approved a second non-refundable Covid-19 advance for its members. Under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, a mechanism for extraordinary withdrawal to support the members’ financial needs during a pandemic was implemented in March 2020. The PMGKY subscribers to PF can take a non-refundable withdrawal of basic earnings and dearness allowances for three months or up to 75 per cent of the amount in their EPF account, whichever is less. EPF members can also apply for a lower amount.

Late Fee Relief to Non-Filers of GST

The government has restricted the late fine for non-furnishing of GSTR-3B from July 2017 to April 2021 to Rs 500 per return. Taxpayers who owe money will be penalised a maximum of Rs 1,000 in late fines if their returns are not filed by August 31, 2021. The GST Council has made filing yearly reports for 2020-21 optional for taxpayers having a revenue of up to Rs 2 crore. Additionally, taxpayers having a yearly aggregate revenue of more than Rs 5 crore would be required to provide a reconciliation statement in form GSTR-9C for the fiscal 2020-21.

Provisions for Families of EPF and ESIC Subscribers

The labour ministry has announced an increased compensation for families of insured individuals covered under the ESIC and EPFO’s EDLI schemes to offer relief to employees in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak. The government has agreed to offer pensions to dependents of ESIC-covered insured individuals who died of Corona virus infection. The maximum sum insured under EPFO’s Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI) has been increased from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 7 lakh. The additional social security benefits announced by the government are available for those who are covered under the Employee’ State Insurance Act 1948 (ESI Act) and Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 (EPF Act).

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Covid-19 Relief
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