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From WhatsApp not working on select models to quarterly GST returns — these are some important changes in India from January 1

Dec 31, 2020, 11:21 IST
Business Insider India
Representational imagePixabay
The year 2020 is about to come to an end and January 1, 2021 is all set to bring several changes to rules and regulations that will have a direct impact on you and your finances. The changes include major things such as relaxation in GST filings and minor changes such as adding ‘0’ as prefix for landline to mobile calls.

In this post, we look at all the changes that will come in effect from January 1, 2021.

Relaxation in GST filing for small businesses

In a relief for small businesses, the government has announced that businesses with a turnover of up to ₹5 crore will be required to file quarterly GST sales returns (GSTR-3B) instead of monthly filing. This will bring down the number of GSTR-3B returns to be filed from 12 to 4. Businesses will also have to file four GSTR-1 returns.

Positive pay mechanism for cheques

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its bi-monthly monetary policy in August 2020 announced the implementation of a positive pay mechanism for cheque clearing. This system will be used for all account holders issuing cheques above ₹50,000. While the facility can be availed at the discretion of the account holder, banks may consider making it mandatory for cheques above ₹5 lakh.


As part of the positive pay mechanism, the issuer of the cheque is required to submit certain details of the cheque such as the date, name of the payee and the amount via SMS, mobile app, ATM and internet banking to the bank.

Enhanced limit for contactless card transactions

Starting from January 1, the limit for contactless card transactions will be enhanced from the existing ₹2,000 to ₹5,000. The RBI has said that this is aimed at expanding the adoption of digital modes of payment in a safe and secure manner. Customers will still be able to decide whether to enable contactless payment on their card or not.

The RBI has also enhanced the limit of e-mandates for debit and credit cards from ₹2,000 to ₹5,000.

LPG prices may be revised

The LPG prices are revised on the first day of every month based on the global crude prices. Keeping the current trend in mind, we expect a further increase in LPG prices on January 1.

Increase in car prices

Maruti Suzuki and Mahindra and Mahindra have announced that they will increase the prices of their cars from January 1, 2021 to offset the impact of rising input costs. Other car makers may adopt similar measures.

WhatsApp to stop working on some phones

Popular messaging app WhatsApp will stop supporting some older phones starting from January 1, 2021. WhatsApp has announced that it will withdraw support from devices running on Android 4.0.3 or older versions and iPhones n software older than iOS 9.

If your phone runs on one of the software mentioned above, it is recommended that you backup your WhatsApp chats before January 1.

Landline to mobile calls

Starting from January 1, landline callers will be required to add a ‘0’ before a mobile number while making a call. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has directed telecom companies to make arrangements to implement this.

The DoT has implemented this based on the recommendations of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and this is aimed at creating sufficient numbering space for telecom services.

Saral Jeevan Bima

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has asked the insurance companies to provide a standard individual life term insurance policy from January 1, 2021. The policy will be called Saral Jeevan Bima and have the company’s name as the prefix. The Saral Jeevan Bima will offer a minimum sum insured of ₹5 lakh and a maximum of ₹25 lakh.


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