iPINews April 2020, Volume 2, No. 4
A Forum for Indian Businesses in North East USA
(Covering: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont)
Help desk for export & import related issues being faced amidst the Coronavirus-2019 pandemic.

The Invest India Business Immunity Platform

 In light of the emergent health crisis, the Invest India Business Immunity Platform is designed as a comprehensive resource to help businesses and investors to bring facilitation and to bring together key Government stakeholders, industry champions and logistic provides to identify and fill the supplies required to combat COVID-19 and also to help any US Investors in India facing business continuity challenges
Finance Ministry issues Taxation and other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Ordinance, 2020

To give effect to several relief measures relating to statutory and regulatory compliance matters across sectors in view of COVID-19 outbreak, the Govt. has brought an Ordinance dt. 31.03.2020 which provides for extension of various time limits under the Taxation and Benami Acts . It also provides for extension of time limits contained in the Rules or Notification which are prescribed/ issued under these Acts.

Some of the important features and time limits which get extended by this Ordinance are:

1.     Extension of last date of filing of original as well as revised income-tax returns for the FY 2018-19 (AY 2019-20) to 30th June, 2020.
2.     Extension of Aadhaar -PAN linking date to 30th June, 2020.
3.     It has been provided that reduced rate of interest of 9% shall be charged for non-payment of Income-tax (e.g. advance tax, TDS, TCS) Equalization Levy, Securities Transaction Tax (STT), Commodities Transaction Tax (CTT) which are due for payment from 20.03.2020 to 29.06.2020 if they are paid by 30.06.2020. Further, no penalty/ prosecution shall be initiated for these non-payments.
4.     Last date of furnishing of the Central Excise returns due in March, April and May 2020 has been extended to 30th June,2020.
5.     Wherever the last date for filing of appeal, refund applications etc., under the Central Excise Act, 1944 and rules made thereunder is from 20th March 2020 to 29th June 2020, the same has been extended to30th June 2020.
6.     Wherever the last date for filing of appeal, refund applications etc., under the Customs Act, 1962 and rules made thereunder is from 20th March 2020 to 29th June 2020, the same has been extended to 30th June 2020.

A special fund “Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES FUND)” has been set up for providing relief to the persons affected from the outbreak of Corona virus. The Ordinance also amended the provisions of the Income-tax Act to provide the same tax treatment to PM CARES Fund as available to Prime Minister National Relief Fund. Therefore, the donation made to the PM CARES Fund shall be eligible for 100% deduction under section 80G of the IT Act. Further, the limit on deduction of 10% of gross income shall also not be applicable for donation made to PM CARES Fund.
Finance Minister announces Rs 1.70 Lakh Crore ($24.32 billion) relief package under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana for the poor to help them fight the battle against Corona Virus

1.     Insurance cover of Rs 50 Lakh (US$71,540) per health worker fighting COVID-19 to be provided under Insurance Scheme
2.     80 crore poor people will to get 5 kg wheat or rice and 1 kg of preferred pulses for free every month for the next three months
3.     20 crore women Jan Dhan account holders to get Rs 500(US$7.15) per month for next three months
4.     Increase in MNREGA wage to Rs 202 (US$2.89) a day from Rs 182 (US$2.60) to benefit 13.62 crore families
5.     An ex-gratia of Rs 1,000 (US$14.30) to 3 crore poor senior citizen, poor widows and poor disabled
6.     Government to front-load Rs 2,000 (US$28.61) paid to farmers in first week of April under existing PM Kisan Yojana to benefit 8.7 crore farmers
7.     Central Government has given orders to State Governments to use Building and Construction Workers Welfare Fund to provide relief to Construction workers. 
More Details at:

Consulate General of India, New York and ShemarooMe USA come together to bind audiences in times of
social distancing

ShemarooMe US and the Consulate General of India, New York, USA have partnered to keep the Indian diaspora socially distant while remaining virtually connected through a common bond that connects every Indian, Bollywood. In line with the campaign “ SociallyDistantVirtuallyConnected ”, ShemarooMe has provided 2 weeks free subscription of their OTT platform to ensure viewers are entertained amidst the times of social distancing and self-quarantine and also hosted a virtual watching of the film GOLMAAL on the 28th March, 12 pm EST on the Consulate General’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/IndiaInNewYork to get the Indian community virtually connected at this time of the pandemic.
Announcing the virtual gathering the Consul General, Mr. Sandeep Chakravorty said, “There are some hard times ahead, but one thing is for sure that we have to stay connected and become each other’s support. While we are following all the precautionary measures to curb the spread of the virus and practice social distancing, it’s a noble thought to be connected virtually. 
A Conversation with Dr. Anish Andharia, President , Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) – Tiger Conservation: Roaring Success - at the Consulate:

The Consulate General of New York organized a conversation as a part of its New India Lecture Series Season III with Dr. Anish Andharia, President, Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) at the Consulate on March 4, 2020. The Conversation was moderated by Ms. Mary Melnyk, Environmental Security and Resillience Team Leader, USAID (Asia Bufeau). Thee vent was attended by around 70 people.  

Webinar on the topic ' "Frugal Innovation: They Key For Sustainable Development" on April 8, 2020 at 11:00 AM