Union govt allows cash payment of over Rs 2 lakh for COVID-19 treatment at hospitals

The Union government had in 2017 restricted persons from receiving Rs 2 lakh or more in cash as a measure to curb black money.
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The Income Tax Department has issued a notification allowing hospitals and nursing homes to accept cash payments of Rs 2 lakh and more for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), which frames policy for the department, issued the notification on Friday.

It said hospitals, dispensaries, nursing homes, COVID care centres or similar other medical facilities providing COVID-19 treatment to patients are being "specified for the purpose of section 269ST of the Income Tax Act". This section restricts any person from receiving an amount of Rs 2 lakh or more in cash, from a person in a day, in respect of a single transaction or in respect of transactions relating to one event or occasion from a person.

It was introduced by the Union government in 2017 as a measure to curb black money. The notification said the latest provision is being made for a period between April 1-May 31 "on obtaining the PAN or Aadhaar of the patient and the payee and the relationship between the patient and the payee" by such hospitals or COVID care centres.

Officials said the move was aimed to remove the hardship being faced by relatives and caregivers of COVID-19 patients who visit hospitals for treatment.

The country is grappling with the onslaught of a massive COVID-19 wave with a record 4,187 deaths and 4,01,078 new infections being reported in a span of 24 hours, according to the Union health ministry data updated on Saturday.

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