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India Eases Trade’s Financial Burden

Government relaxes banking, tax and insolvency rules as country enters lockdown.
Mar 25, 2020 8:11 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... India’s government has approved concessions to ease the financial situation for diamond and jewelry businesses after the country went into lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The finance ministry raised the minimum value of a default that could trigger bankruptcy proceedings for small- and medium-sizes businesses to INR 10 million ($131,160) from INR 100,000 ($1,310), the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said in a note sent to members Tuesday.

In addition, bank charges for digital transactions will decrease, and there will be no minimum bank balance required to maintain an account for the next three months.

Among its other measures, the government has given companies until June 30 to file pending tax returns, instead of March 31. It also reduced or abolished interest on late payments of income tax and the country’s goods and services tax.

India entered a three-week lockdown at midnight on Tuesday in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The Surat polishing sector and the Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai have closed until March 31. However, customs will continue to operate, as it is considered an essential service.

“The council and its members are grateful to the government for coming out with such measures during this unprecedented time,” the GJEPC said.

Image: Jewelry on display at the IIJS Signature show in Mumbai in February 2020. (GJEPC)
Tags: Banking, bankruptcy, Banks, Bharat Diamond Bourse, Coronavirus, COVID-19, finance, Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, GJEPC, goods and services tax, GST, India, lending, mumbai, Rapaport News, Surat, tax
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