- Date : 01/10/2020
- Read: 4 mins
From using a mobile phone while driving, to debit and credit card rules, to tax matters, here’s everything you need to know about the newly changed rules.
Several policy changes related to various aspects of the economy, personal finance, taxation, and general health and safety will come into effect starting 1 October 2020. Here are the 10 key changes you need to be aware of:
1. Drivers can use mobile phones for route navigation
An amendment to the Motor Vehicles Rules 1989 by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) now permits drivers to access their mobile devices for navigation, as long as it does affect the driver’s concentration.
2. Digital lockers for driving licence and automobile documents
Various documents such as your driving licence, vehicle registration certificate, e-challans, etc., can now be uploaded to a government-approved online portal/app such as DigiLocker or mParivahan. This does away with the need to have physical copies on you at all times while driving your vehicle.
3. Implementation of new Tax Collected at Source (TCS) regime
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has inserted a new section 194-O by widening the scope of The Finance Act, 2020, which mandates e-commerce businesses to deduct 1% Tax Collected at Source (TCS) on the gross amount of sales of goods and services offered through digital platforms.
4. Tax on foreign fund transfer
Funds sent abroad to purchase foreign tour packages will attract a TCS of 5%, unless tax has already been deducted at source. Additionally, any other foreign remittance exceeding Rs 7 lakh will also be liable for TCS of 5%. The TCS will be reflected as tax credit in your Form 26AS and can be claimed against your total tax liability.
5. RBI issues new debit and credit card rules
The Reserve bank of India (RBI) has mandated that debit and credit card users will have to offer their consent to opt in or out of various services, such as validity at international POS, online transactions, contactless transactions, and spend limits on their card.
6. Changes to health insurance rules
Ever since COVID-19, insurance companies have been asked to cover the contagion as a part of all standard health insurance plans. This will make health insurance premiums more expensive. Additionally, health plans will also cover treatment for mental illness, internal congenital diseases, neurodevelopmental disorders, and genetic diseases, among others. However, 17 other chronic health issues will not be covered under the new rules.
7. Sweet sellers to compulsorily display 'best before date'
Confectionery and sweet shops selling non-packaged or loose sweets will now have to declare a 'best before’ date as mandated by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). They can also specify the date of manufacture, but this is not mandatory and is left to the discretion of the seller.
8. Free LPG connections to be discontinued
The Union cabinet had approved an extension to avail of free cooking gas connections under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) till 30 September 2020. Post this, no new connections will be available. However, the beneficiaries who are entitled to three free LPG cylinders can get refills up to 31 March 2021.
9. Blending of mustard oil prohibited
The FSSAI has prohibited blending of mustard oil with other cooking oils such as rice bran oil, soybean oil, or palm oil. This will allow customers to get pure mustard oil while boosting the production of mustard crop and helping farmers get remunerative prices for the extra 12–15 lakh tonnes of mustard seeds needed to make up for the shortfall of 5 lakh tonnes of mustard oil after the new rule comes into effect.
10. Television sets to get costlier
Imported open-cell television panels will attract a 5% import duty in a bid to boost local demand and as part of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative.