In an effort to combat the Coronavirus crisis in the country, the Finance Ministry on Friday released a total of Rs 17,287.08 crore for different states to enhance their financial resources under the SDRMF. The amount includes Rs 6,195.08 crore on account of ‘revenue deficit grant’ under the 15th Finance Commission recommendations to 14 States. This comes after the total number of active COVID-19 cases have soared above 2000 while 56 deaths have been reported in the country so far.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday stated, "These states are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand & WB. Remaining Rs 11,092 crore is for all states as advance payment of Central share of 1st instalment of SDRMF."
Earlier in the day, the Ministry of Home Affairs also approved the release of Rs 11,092 crores under the State Disaster Risk Management Fund (SDRMF) to all the states. The amount is an advance release of the Government's share of the first instalment of SDRMF for the year 2020-21.
The Ministry of Finance earlier brought in the 'Taxation and other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Ordinance, 2020' to give effect to the relief measures pertaining to statutory and regulatory compliance announced on March 24. This provides for the extension of time limits under the Taxation and Benami Acts. For instance, the date of filing Income Tax returns, Aadhar-PAN linking and the 'Vivad se Vishwas' scheme has been extended until June 30, 2020.
Moreover, the ordinance has amended the Income Tax Act to ensure that the same tax treatment is provided to PM CARES as available to the Prime Minister National Relief Fund. This implies that the donation made to PM CARES fund will be eligible for a 100% deduction under the Income Tax Act. Additionally, the limit on the deduction of 10% of gross income shall not be applicable for donation made to PM CARES fund.