Ministry of Commerce &Industry
Relaxations provided on compliances to be met by
units / developers / codevelopers of SEZs
Posted On: 30 MAR 2020 2:52PM by PIB Delhi
In view of the sudden outbreak of COVID19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown, most government
offices are closed and a few involved in emergency services etc., are functioning with skeletal staff. The
Department of Commerce has therefore decided to provide suitable relaxations on compliances to be met by
units / developers / codevelopers of Special Economic Zones(SEZs). Such compliances to which the
relaxations will apply, include:
· Requirement to file Quarterly Progress Report (QPR) attested by Independent Chartered Engineers by
Developers/ Codevelopers
· SOFTEX form to be filed by IT/ITES units
· Filing of Annual Performance Reports (APR) by SEZ units
· Extension of Letter of Approvals (LoA) which may expire, in the cases of:
n Developers/codevelopers who are in the process of developing and operationalising the SEZ;
n units which are likely to complete their 5 year block for NFE assessment;
n Units which are yet to commence operations
Development Commissioners of SEZs have been directed to ensure that no hardship is caused to Developers /
CoDeveloper / Units and no punitive action is taken in cases where any compliance is not met during this
period impacted by the above disruption. Further, as may be possible, all extensions of LoAs and other
compliances may be facilitated through electronic mode in a timebound manner. In the cases where it is not
possible to grant extension through electronic mode or in cases where a physical meeting is required,
Development Commissioners have been asked to ensure that the Developer / Codeveloper / Units do not face
any hardship due to such expiry of validity during this period of disruption. Adhoc interim extension /
deferment of the expiry date may be granted without prejudice till 30.06.2020 or further instructions of the
Department on the matter, whichever is earlier.
(Release ID: 1609247)

    “Apprentices will continue to get their full stipend during
    COVID-19 Lockdown”: Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, MSDE
     All establishments shall pay full stipend as applicable to the apprentices engaged under
    both designated and optional trade
     Reimbursement of stipend to establishments under National Apprenticeship Promotion
    Scheme (NAPS) shall be paid by the Government for the lockdown period as per the NAPS guidelines New Delhi, March 30, 2020: As a part of the Government’s commitment to fight the spread
    of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and fully support the public, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) today notified all the establishments under
    designated and optional trade to pay full stipend to apprentices engaged with them.
    Additionally, reimbursement of stipend to establishments under National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) shall be paid by the Government for the lockdown period as per
    the NAPS guidelines.
    As per reference of Apprentices Act, 1961 amended up to 2014 and Apprenticeship Rules, 1992 amended up to 2019. Sub-rule 2(b) of Rule 7 states that if a trade apprentice is unable to complete the period of apprenticeship training due to strike or lockout or layoff in an establishment where he is undergoing training and is not instrumental for the same, the period of his apprenticeship training shall be extended for a period equal to the period of strike or lockout or layoff, as the case maybe, and shall be paid stipend during the period of such strike
    or lockout or layoff or for a maximum period of six months, whichever is less. 
    Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Union Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship expressed his views and shared, “This is the time when we all need to come forward and support each other completely. Even our honourable Prime Minister, Shri. Narendra Modi appealed to businesses to act with empathy. And with this, we have decided that we will not let the morale of the country’s productive youth to be let down and will support them in every
    way possible. In view of this, we will ensure that apprentices continue to get their stipend during COVID-19 lockdown. I would also like to state that all the establishments have shown
    full commitment in this regard and are cooperating with the Government for the smooth delivery of services in a critical time like this.”
    Apprenticeship has been recognized as an effective way to empower young people to smoothly shift from school and college to work whilst at the same time improving links between
    industry and training institutions. The National Apprenticeship Programme plays a large part in the task of up-skilling India’s workforce, offering the opportunity to share costs among different parties (employers, individuals and the government) and to involve governments, employers and workers in partnership. Apprenticeship is a win-win situation both for industry
    and youth in coming together to help make the vision of ‘Skilled India’ a reality in future.
    The pandemic that originated in Wuhan in the Hubei province of the People’s Republic of China in January has so far claimed 26 lives in the country while infecting nearly 1045 people.
    Globally, it has caused about 27,000 deaths while infecting lakhs of people. 
    About Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE)
    MSDE was formed on November 9, 2014 by the Government of India to focus on enhancing
    employability of skills. Since its inception, MSDE has undertaken significant initiatives and
    reforms in terms of formalizing the policy, framework and standards; launching of new
    programs and schemes; creating new infrastructure and upgrading the existing institutions;
    partnering with States; engaging with industries and building societal acceptance and
    aspirations for skills. The Ministry aims to bridge the gap between demand and supply of
    skilled manpower to build new skills and innovation not only for existing jobs but also for jobs
    that are to be created. Till date, more than three crore people have been trained under Skill
    India. Under its flagship programme, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 2016-
    2020, the Ministry has trained more than 73 lakh candidates so far.
    For more information on Skill Development, please follow the links below:
    Facebook:; Twitter: @MSDESkillIndia;

      Several developers in the National Capital Region have requested the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) of UP, Haryana and Delhi to delay recovery notices issued to builders by at least six months in light of the Covid-19 crisis that has crippled the sector.

      Read more at-

        In a bid to streamline supply chains of essential goods, the Consumer Affairs Ministry has advised State governments to adopt e-pass solution system to issue and monitor passes to companies that have nation-wide supply chains.

        It has also sent a suggested list of FMCG, retail and e-commerce companies that are involved in nation-wide supply chain of essential goods to all the State governments. It has also urged local authorities to facilitate availability of workers at factories, warehouses and for distribution and transportation purposes.

        Nodal officers

        In a letter written by Pawan Kumar Agarwal, Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs Ministry, to Chief Secretaries of all State Governments, the Ministry has advised States to designate nodal officers to issue authorisation letters to companies that have nation wide supply chains of essential goods. He said the state nodal officers should work with the State Police for co-ordination with local police authorities. Sources said that States have begun nominating nodal officers. States have been advised to use e-pass solution system, which has been developed by Consumer Affairs Ministry in collaboration with E-Gov Foundation.

          Laying emphasis on the urgency of increased testing for novel coronavirus, the Supreme Court today directed the government to issue directions to approved testing laboratories for conducting COVID-19 tests free of cost.

          This comes hours after the top court suggested that the Centre should create a mechanism wherein private laboratories did not charge exorbitant fees from public and government should reimburse the fees charged by labs.

          The apex court also ordered that such tests be conducted only in NABL accredited labs or agencies approved by the World Health Organization or the ICMR. The court raised questions on the feasibility of tests that were being charged Rs 4,500 by private labs.

          The Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and Ravindra S Bhat was hearing a PIL filed by Advocate Shashank Deo Sudhi, which sought a direction to the government to make COVID-19 testing free across the country.

          On March 31, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Centre and authorities concerned to provide free testing facilities for COVID-19 to all citizens in the country.

          Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said it is a developing situation and government at this juncture does not know how many laboratories will be needed and how long the ongoing lockdown will continue.

          The petitioner has also sought a direction to the authorities for ramping up the testing facilities for COVID-19 at the earliest “given the escalating mortality and morbidity rate across the country”.

          The petition has questioned the March 17 advisory of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) which capped Rs 4,500 for testing of COVID-19 in private hospitals or labs, including screening and confirmatory tests.

          “It is extremely difficult for the common citizen to get himself/herself tested in the government hospital /labs and being no alternative in the sight, the people are constrained to pay the capped amount to the private hospital/labs for protecting their lives,” it said.

          The plea said the impending danger of coronavirus is extremely serious, given the deprived population of the country, and testing is the only way to contain the pandemic. It alleged that authorities are “completely insensitive and indifferent” to the plight of common citizens who are already financially burdened on account of complete lockdown across the country.

          “Further, the capping of the prices of the testing facility of COVID-19 in private hospitals/labs strikes at the Article 14 of the Constitution of India as being arbitrary and unreasonable,” it said and urged that the March 17 advisory be declared arbitrary.

          It also sought a direction for ensuring that all tests relating to COVID-19 are conducted under the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) or ICMR accredited pathological labs.

          It said ICMR should be directed to hold regular news briefings through national TV channels about the current situation on coronavirus and precautions to be taken by the citizens.

          The plea also said that authorities must ensure adequate numbers of testing kits and centers for COVID-19 across the country.

          Source : 


          • Government announces PM Garib Kalyan Package to fight Covid-19
          • Government to pay PF contributions for those earning below Rs 15,000 a month
          • Government to amend PF rules to allow non-recoverable advance from PF account up to 75%

          The central government on Thursday announced a slew of measures directed at helping out low income group people during nationwide lockdown under the impact of novel coronavirus infection. It has decided to pay the provident fund contributions for three months of any company where 90 per cent of staff get less than Rs 15,000 as salary a month Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “The government will pay both employee’s and employer’s contributions to the provident fund for three months for establishment with 90 per cent of staff with Rs 15,000 wage.” The government also allowed advance against the PF contribution made by the workers to the tune of 75 per cent of PF deposits or equivalent to three months’ salary, whichever is lower. The government order says the PF regulations will be amended in the view of Covid-19 outbreak. The announcements were made at a press conference by Sitharaman and her deputy Anurag Thakur. The measures were announced in the middle of a 21-day nationwide lockdown to contain spread of novel coronavirus pandemic in India. The pandemic has led to shutdown and massive losses to businesses. The smaller business entities have suffered the worst and the lower income groups were particularly affected.

          The announcement came as part of PM Garib Kalyan Package unveiling economic measures worth Rs 1.75 lakh crore to help the poor to fight the battle against Corona Virus.

          The government release underscored that wage-earners below Rs 15000 per month in businesses having less than 100 workers are at risk of losing their employment. Under this package, the government proposed to pay 24 per cent of their monthly wages into their PF accounts for next three months. A total of Rs 5000 crores has been allocated for this purpose.

          ESMA issues guidance on accounting implications of COVID-19 specific to ECL


          26 March 2020

          ESMA has issued a public statement on the audit implications of the COVID-19 outbreak on the calculation of expected credit losses (‘ECL’) under IFRS 9. The document includes ESMA’s views on a number of areas, including:

          • Accounting for the modifications resulting from the introduction of support measures by governments;
          • Assessment of whether a significant increase in credit risk has occurred;
          • ECL estimation;
          • Public guarantees on issuers’ exposures; and
          • Disclosures.

          The public statement may be accessed here.

            ICAI is concerned about the impact of Coronavirus disease (known as COVID-2019  or COVID-19) on the health of people worldwide as well as on the state of economy and commerce of the world in general and on India specifically. COVID-
            19 was first reported to the World Health Organisation…


            source :




            • Screenshot_2020-03-27-11-13-04-15

            Nirmala Sitharaman LIVE: GST, ITR filing, Aadhaar-PAN linking deadlines extended to June 30

            • Modi government is working on an economic package for industries affected by coronavirus
            • A total of 32 states and union territories are under lockdown as the number of Covid-19 cases went close to 500

            NEW DELHI : Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today addressed a press conference on various statutory and regulatory compliance issues amid a complete shutdown almost all over the country to control the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus or Covid-19 infection. The finance ministry is already working an economic package to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on the Indian economy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also announced setting up of a task force, to be headed by Sitharaman, to look at measures to limit economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

            Announcements by Nirmala Sitharaman:

            -MS Mani, Partner, Deloitte India, said the extension of GST return filing timelines together with the deferment of e-invoicing and new returns announced earlier would allow businesses to focus on resumption of business processes once normalcy resumes in future. “The waiver of interest, late fees and penalties for SME’s would enable them to focus on reviving their businesses once things are back to normal

            “The extension of the Sabka Vishwas scheme to 30th June, with zero interest would be beneficial to those businesses who have past liabilities which have significant accumulated interest liabilities “

            – Comments: Archit Gupta, Founder and CEO, ClearTax, said various filing extensions and relief in compliance is essential for businesses to tide over these difficult circumstances. “Businesses must also use this time to explore ways to become more and more tech focussed. They must now move compliance completely digitally, use cloud based services, and build strong controls and systems so teams can work digitally and remotely. The situation may not improve in the near future. Hopefully, the economic package in the works will help businesses recoup from fall in revenues, which is very much likely in the coming quarter,” Gupta said.

            -Minimum balance waiver is for three months at the moment: FM

            -We are consciously monitoring the stock market thrice in a day: Sitharaman

            -All regulators, the RBI and finance ministry working together to keep monitoring volatility in stock markets: FM

            -There was a lot of pressure on people to follow the March 31 deadline and so we have extended it: FM

            -Finance ministry is working on suggestions coming from the task force. Economic package is being worked out. Sooner we shall come with an announcement on that: FM

            -Every attention being given to the economy. PM is closely monitoring situation: Sitharaman

            – Bank charges reduced for digital trade transaction for all trade finance consumers: Sitharaman

            -Go to banks only when it is absolutely required. Do online transactions

            -Minimum balance charges waived off for bank accounts: FM

            -Debit card holders who withdraw cash from any ATMs can do it free of charge for 3 months: FM

            – IBC Section 7, 9 and 10 may be suspended for six months to stop companies being forced to insolvency: Sitharaman.

            -Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code: The existing threshold of 1 lakh hiked to 1 crore. This is being done to protect MSMEs.

            – For a director in any company, less than minimum residency of 182 days, shall now not be treated as a violation: Sitharaman.

            -For newly incorporated companies: 6 more months to file commencement of business report.

            – Vivad se Vishwas tax dispute resolution scheme extended by 3 months to June 30. Those availing the scheme by the extended deadline will not have to pay 10 per cent interest on the principal amount: Sitharaman.

            -Applicability of Companies Auditors’ Report Order 2020 shifted to 2020-21: FM

            -Board meeting rules relaxed for 60 days: FM

            -Customs clearance now an essential service, till June 30th, 2020 it will be working 24/7: FM

            -For bigger companies, only interest but no late fee and no penalty for GST: FM

            – For companies with less than 5 crore turnover, no interest, late fee or penalty will be charged: Sitharaman

            -Deadline for filing March, April, May GST returns extended to June 30: Sitharaman.

            – No move to impose financial emergency as was claimed by some reports: FM

            -Vivad Se Vishwas Scheme has been extended from April 1 to June 30. No additional 10% payment: FM

            -Aadhaar-PAN linking deadline extended to 30th June: FM

            -Delayed deposits of TDS, only reduced interest rate of 9% will be charged on delayed deposits till June 2020. No extension of deadline.

            -FY 2018-19, the last date for income tax returns will be now extended to June 30: Sitharaman.

            -For delayed payments, interest rates have been cut.

            -Sitharaman to announce on bank related compliance issues.

            -FM to announce relief related to tax return filing.

            -We are very close to announcing an economic package: FM

            -FM begins press briefing through video conferencing.

            -CII has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a fiscal stimulus of 1 per cent of the GDP amounting to 2 lakh crore to needy citizens through Aadhaar-based direct benefit transfer.

            -Industry leaders have sought fiscal and monetary stimulus measures urgently to combat the impact of coronavirus on the economy.

            -Several industry bodies have requested the government to extend the last date for filing of income tax and GST returns.