Owing to “disturbances in internet services”, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has extended the deadline for businesses in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to e-file financial statements (AOC-4, AOC-4 (CFS), AOC-4 XBRL) and annual return (MGT-7) for FY19 to January 31, 2020. The Ministry took this decision after it received requests from “various stakeholders” who requested an extension given that “normal work was affected” due to the internet shutdown in the region, which has been in place for more than a 100 days now.

Companies will not be charged any additional fee if they file the documents within this deadline. The Ministry announced this in General Circular No. 15/2019 (available below) on November 28, which is signed by MCA’s Assistant Director (policy) K.M.S. Narayanan.

This is the second extension provided to businesses in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh for filing their tax returns for the last financial year. In General Circular No. 13/2019, dated October 29, MCA had extended the deadline to submit AOC-4 e-forms until November 30, and MGT-7 e-forms until December 12. In this general circular, the Ministry only said that the extension was granted due to “various factors”.

Ironically, on November 27, Minister of State in the Home Ministry, G. Kishan Reddy informed the Rajya Sabha that the abrogation of Article 370, and the subsequent reorganisation of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories as per the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, has had “no additional financial implication as such” for the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Sign a bond with 6 conditions and get internet in J&K: This development comes after it was reported that businesses in Jammu and Kashmir can have their internet services restored, but only for “businesses purposes”, only after they sign a bond with the government and agree that:

  • Their IP address will not permit access to social networking websites, proxies, VPNs and WiFi.
  • Encrypted file containing a video/photo won’t be uploaded.
  • All USB ports on their network will be disabled.
  • They’ll provide “complete access” to all their “content” and “infrastructure” as and when required by security forces.
  • They have MAC binding in place to restrict access to registered devices through a single PC.
  • The company will take all responsibility for any kind of “breach or misuse of [the] internet”.

No internet in Jammu and Kashmir, 100 days and counting: Internet services were snapped on August 4, a day before Home Minister Amit Shah moved a resolution in the Rajya Sabha to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution that provided special status to Jammu & Kashmir. Congress’s Ghulam Nabi Azad said in Parliament last week that the duration of the internet shutdown in Jammu and Kashmir is unprecedented and is affecting education and healthcare in the area.

Shah meanwhile said that internet services in the newly formed UT would be restored only when the territory’s administration thinks it fit to do so. He said that “when it is the matter of India’s security, Kashmir valley and its people’s security, and a fight against terrorism, we have to set our priorities,” while responding to questions in Rajya Sabha last week.

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