Several policy changes will come into effect on October 1, including health insurance cover rules changes, several additions to the tax policy, as well as rules for drivers and car-owners.
October 1 will bring about several changes in rules relating to several aspects of the economy, most notably for motorists and those availing free LPG connections under the Ujjwala scheme. The central bank has made card use easier, and there are some changes in taxation policy. More stringent rules will also be applicable on food products to ensure quality.Here are the changes coming into effect from October 1:
- No physical copies of driving licence and registration certificate required:
Only valid soft copies of your driving licence and registration certificate are required to be attached to your vehicle, removing the need for hard copies under an amendment to the Motor Vehicles Rules 1989. The central government will also set up an information technology portal from 1 October 2020 to digitise maintenance certificates and e-challans. Vehicular documents can be maintained on online portals like Digi-Locker or mParivahan.
- Drivers can use mobile phones for navigation:
Drivers can now use their mobiles for route navigation in such a manner that it shall not disturb the concentration of the driver while driving, in a modern-day amendment made in the Motor Vehicles Rules.
- No free LPG connection:
The process of getting a gas connection for free is ending today, under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY). The Union cabinet had approved an extension till end-September for availing free cooking gas cylinders under PMUY.
- New credit and debit card rules by RBI:
To secure debit and credit cards, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued new guidelines. Card users will now be able to register opting in or out of services, spend limits, etc. for international transactions, online transactions as well as contactless card transactions.
- New Tax Collected at Source (TCS) Regime: The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on September 29 issued a detailed clarification pertaining to the new TDS/TCS provisions set to be applicable from October 1, 2020. The Finance Act 2020 widens the scope of TCS provisions to cover the sale of goods, sale of overseas tour packages and overseas remittance of funds under the RBI's Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS). The new norm mandates e-commerce operators to have a Tax Deducted at Source (TDS), levied at 1 percent, of the amount of any sale of goods and services.
- Foreign fund transfer - 5% tax will be levied:
Any amount sent abroad to buy foreign tour packages will now have TCS levied, and every other foreign remittance made above Rs 7 lakh. The same tax rate, of 5 percent, will be enforced across both segments.
- Implementation of new health insurance rules: Changes in health insurance cover have been introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, and may cause a rise in price for premium health services. While COVID-19 has now been included in the plans, 17 chronic illnesses will not be covered under the new rules.
- 'Best before date' to be displayed by sweets sellers: Non-packaged or loose sweets available in sweets shops have to declare a "best before date". The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has directed sweet shop owners to adhere to the protocol starting October.
- Blending of mustard oil with other cooking oils banned: Blending of mustard oil with any other cooking oil has been banned by FSSAI. "Blending of mustard oil with any other edible oil in India has been prohibited with effect from October 1, 2020," the regulator wrote in a letter to the commissioners of food safety of all states and union territories.
- Television sets likely to be costlier:
Open cell panels will attract a 5 percent import duty from October 1. The government is keen to expand domestic production capacity for open cell panels so that imports can be curbed, as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative.