New Delhi: A series of amendments and new rules were introduced by the Centre across the country to deal with the ongoing slowdown of the Indian economy and many of these changes were set to be implemented today, on October 1.

As a result, it is important for citizens to know the changes that may affect them either directly or indirectly. While some of them may come as a relief, some other revisions may increase the burden on one’s shoulders.

No cashback on petrol and diesel

The older provision of a cashback that customers enjoyed on using the State Bank of India credit card on purchase of petrol or diesel will no longer be applicable. The state-run bank has been notifying its customers regarding the same through messages.

Earlier, SBI credit card holders used to benefit up to 0.75 per cent cashback on petrol and diesel purchase.

Changes in driving license and RC

With the revised Motor Vehicle Act in place, the country has seen some bizarre changes in traffic rules. As part of the revisions, a person’s driving license and RC will now have to be of the same colour. Moreover, driving licenses will also have a QR code and a microchip installed in it.

Hence, drivers may need to get their driving licenses and RC changed as the rules apply from October 1.

SBI reduces penalty on maintaining balance

The State Bank of India (SBI) will now reduce its penalty for not maintaining the monthly account balance by 80 per cent. As a result, if a person’s account balance is less than 75 per cent of the stipulated amount, then a penalty of Rs 80 plus GST will be deducted. Similarly, if the balance is between 50 to 75 per cent of the stipulated amount, Rs 12 plus GST will be deducted. If the balance is less than 50 per cent of the required amount Rs 10 plus GST will be deducted.

SBI account holders, especially in the metropolitan cities require to hold a minimum monthly balance of Rs 3000.

GST rate cut

Following the 37th GST Council held in Goa on September 20, many products and services have witnessed a tax reduction. Good news for travellers as hotels with rent up to Rs 1000 a day will not be taxed. Moreover, those with rent up to Rs 7500 will be charging only 12 per cent GST.

In other news, small vehicle owners can take a breather as the cess has been reduced on 10 to 13 seater petrol and diesel vehicles. Meanwhile, the GST on slide fasteners (ZIP) has been increased to 12 per cent.

New method for GST return 

According to the decision made during GST Council meet, the GST return form has been revamped for traders with an annual turnover above Rs 5 crore. It will now be mandatory for these traders to fill the GAT ANX-1 form which will replace GSTR-1. Small businessmen will also have to file GST returns through this form, but for them, the form will be mandatory from January 1, 2020.

At present, only major taxpayers will fill the GST returns for October and November through the GSTR 3B form.

GST on train fares to increase

With the latest GST reforms, the government has incresed the GST rate on passenger coaches and wagons from 5 per cent to 12 per cent. Additionally, a cess of 12 per cent has also been imposed.

Corporate tax cut

According to the announcement made by FM Nirmala Sitharaman, starting October 01, manufacturing companies will have the option to pay 15 per cent tax. After this, the total charge including surcharge and tax on companies will be at 17.01 per cent. Earlier, domestic companies had to pay a surcharge in addition to a 30 per cent tax.

The move was made in an attempt to accelerate business and revive the failing economy.

Revision on pension policy

As per the changes made, effective from today, if an employee dies after completing seven years of service, his dependents will get the benefit of an increased pension. The Central government has issued a notification that will increase the pension that was till date set at 50 per cent of the last salary.

Ban on plastic

Starting Wednesday, October 2, there will be a nationwide ban on single-use plastic items. The central government has introduced the ban taking a view of the increasing pollution in India. The ban will be implemented in six single-use plastic products for now, and it will eventually be imposed on all products.