The salaried class constitute a major part of the tax payers’ contribution. They are also likely to take a major hit owing to the lockdown. The associated cost would definitely leave a hole in the pocket and it would take months to get back on track. The
government may take some time to announce relief with the focus right now on containing the spread of the virus. The waiver of EMI for 3 months has come about as a breather for many as part of initiatives taken to ease cash flow. Let us take a look at some
of the options that could be taken to tide over the crisis.
Partial Payouts from Tax saving Fixed Deposits: Investments in Tax saving fixed deposits come with a lock in period of 5 years. Partial withdrawals to the certain extent can be allowed. While a redemption in ELSS funds are market dependent and may
leave a likely loss to the customer in the current scenario, the payouts from the Tax saving Fixed deposits to a large extent can help the customer since the funds are not in negative horizon.
Payouts from the Insurance paid
Insurance is supposed to hedge risk. In the current scenario, the guidelines may be relaxed so as to ensure a partial amount can be withdrawn to attend to the essential needs.
Withdrawal from Public Provident Fund Accounts and Pension Funds
Hitherto the scheme permits partial withdrawal from year 7, i.e., upon completion of 6 years. An account holder can withdraw prematurely, up to a maximum of 50% of the amount that is in the account at the end of the 4th year. Further, withdrawals can be
made only once in a financial year.
It is therefore a relief to note that the Government has permitted non-refundable withdrawal not exceeding the basic wages and dearness allowance for three months or up to 75 per cent of the amount standing to the credit of their EPF account, whichever is
Withdrawal from Pension funds like NPS may also be permitted so that the individual stands to benefit. Parameters like the amount already paid and also the remaining term can be accounted and suitable guidelines can be incorporated.
All the above measures are pertaining to the schemes where the individual savings are involved and doesn’t involve borrowing additionally. Also, the means by which a person needs to have access to the funds needs to be in the simplest form possible and
not involve one running from pillar to post.
Following are some of the proactive measures that the Government can take to ease the burden
Reduction in GST
Essential and core products need to be identified and the associated GST can be reduced and the benefits therof can be passed on the end customer.
Relaxation of Cess on Tax Levied
The cess imposed can be relaxed for the next few quarters months. The amount may be relatively small, but the benefit can be long term.
The rapid spread of the pandemic has also caused a mayhem worldwide. For a person who is fighting the virus, these small but effective measures would ensure that the money-crunch be the last thing that he/she needs to worry about.