Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held a press conference announcing fresh measures to boost the economy (image: ANI)

The Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Friday held a press conference announcing fresh reforms and measures for the economy. During the presser, Sitharaman asserted that reform is the primary agenda for the Narendra Modi government.

The finance minister has announced a great deal of measures to incentivise the economy. Among the slew of measures, Sitharaman has announced a rollback on the increases surcharge on Long term/Short term capital gains, CSR violations not to be taken as a criminal offence and the withdrawal of Angel tax for startups and their investors.

Also included in the list is a reversal on the provision of enhanced surcharge on foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) as it was before the announcement of Budget in July. All tax notices will be issued from a centralized system, she said, while adding that banks will now allow for cheaper home and automobile loans.

To focus on the slowdown in the auto sector, the government batted for a push in the purchases of vehicles including an additional 15 percent depreciation on vehicles.

Some of the measures announced are:

Income Tax:

* Sitharaman has promised steps to end tax harassment; decision on old tax notice to be taken by October 1.

* Starting October 1, all Income Tax notices must be disposed off within 3 months.

NBFCs:

* NBFC can now use Aadhaar-based KYC

* Notices of prepayment issued to NBFCs will be monitored by banks.

* National Housing Board to provide increased liquidity of Rs 30,000 crore to support Housing Finance Companies

* Government to release Rs 70,000-crore upfront for the recapitalization of PSBs.

Investors:

* Enhanced surcharge on FPIs and domestic investors in the equity market will be rolled back.

* Aadhaar-based KYC for investment in mutual funds as well as opening Demat accounts

* Government will consult RBI to enhance credit default swap options.

Industry:

* All pending GST refunds till now are to be paid in 30 days. Future GST refunds to be paid in 60 days.

* FM Sitharaman promised to simplify the GST system further.

Auto sector:

 * BS-IV cars purchased till March 2020 will remain in operation up to the entire period of registration.

* Government has asked its departments to replace old vehicles

 * Higher vehicle registration fee would be charged from June next year.

*Depreciation for all vehicles increased to 30 per cent till March 2020.

* Scrappage policy would be announced soon.

 MSMEs:

* Government has rolled back angle tax provision for startups and their investors.

* FM announced one-time settlement policy for MSME loans based on checkbox approach

* Government will come up with one MSME definition for simplification purpose.

 Home/auto loans:

*Home loans to be cheaper; Banks have agreed to pass on the rate cut announced by RBI to customers.

*Banks will be launching Repo Rate linked loans.

* Online tracking system for home, auto loans.

* PSBs will have to return loan documents to customers within 15 days of loan closure.

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