There is fake news circulating in some sections of the media that the Financial Year has been extended.
Those breathing a sigh of relief on news that the current financial year 2019-20 has been extended in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, might need to sit up and note: there is no such extension, and that today is indeed the last day of this fiscal year. The Ministry of Finance has clarified that no announcement with regard to extending the financial year has been made and the news floating across various media and social media platforms is fake. “There is fake news circulating in some sections of the media that the Financial Year has been extended. A notification issued by the Government of India on 30th March 2020 with respect to some other amendments done in the Indian Stamp Act is being misquoted,” said a statement by the Ministry of Finance.
The announcement was made to bring an efficient mechanism for collection of Stamp Duty on Security Market Instruments transactions through stock exchanges or clearing corporations authorised by stock exchanges depositories. This change was earlier notified to be implemented from 1 April 2020, however, due to the prevailing situation, the government has postponed the date of implementation to 1 July 2020.
Due to rising cases of coronavirus outbreak in the country and amid a complete lockdown bringing businesses to a standstill, many stakeholders were expecting an extension of the financial year so that they get more time to wind up the routine year-end endeavours. However, the government has made it very clear that the new FY21 will start from Wednesday, 1 April 2020, and no extension will be given for this.
Meanwhile, in other relief measures for businesses and industries, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das had announced a slew of measures in the last week. The announcements included a mega economic package from the government and a comprehensive monetary package from the Reserve Bank of India. The measures announced so far include an extension in the deadline of I-T and GST filings, cut in repo rate, the moratorium on repayment of loans, free ration and gas cylinders to poor people, etc.