As the number of coronavirus cases in India hiked to 500 today, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a slew of measures considering the hardship people are facing due to the pandemic. However, a financial emergency has not been imposed in India yet. "No move to impose financial emergency as was claimed by some reports," Sitharaman said while addressing the media.
A financial emergency is one of the three types of emergency declarations provided in the Indian Constitution. Article 360 of the Constitution empowers the government to ask the President to enforce a financial emergency if a "situation has arisen whereby the financial stability or credit of India or of any part of the territory thereof is threatened".
During a financial emergency, "the executive authority of the Union shall extend to the giving of directions to any state..." on financial matters. Article 360 has a provision requiring the reduction of salaries and allowances of all or any class of person serving a State or the Union. Once approved it remains in force till revoked by the President.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Saturday asked whether "declaration of economic emergency" is becoming inevitable amid coronavirus pandemic. "Is now declaration of Economic Emergency becoming inevitable? Govt must put doubts at rest," Swamy wrote on Twitter.
Today, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman extended various statutory deadlines related to income tax to June 30. Aadhaar-pan linking deadline which was also ending on 31 March, has been extended to June 30.
India has reported a total of 492 coronavirus cases so far. 10 deaths have been confirmed from Karnataka, Delhi, Mumbai, Punjab, Bihar and Kolkata. Almost 80% of the Indian companies have extended work-from-home facility for its employees. Companies including Air India, Go Air declared pay cut for senior management. Over 500 districts across the country is under lockdown to contain the virus spread.