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[Cos' Act] Designation of Special Court for the State of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh

Ministry of Corporate Affairs(MCA) Notification dated the 23rd March, 2017

S.O. 945(E).—In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 435 of the Companies Act, 2013 (18 of 2013), the Central Government, with the concurrence of the Chief Justice of the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for the State of Telangana and the State of Andhra Pradesh hereby designates the following Courts mentioned in the Table below as Special Courts for the purposes of providing speedy trial of offences punishable with imprisonment of two years or more under the said Act, namely:-
TABLE

Designation of Special Court for the State of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh

CBEC To Be Renamed As CBIC: FM Approves Re-organisation Of Field Formations Of CBEC For Implementation Of GST

FM approves the re-organisation of the field formations of the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) for the implementation of Goods & Services Tax (GST); CBEC is being renamed as the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC), after getting legislative approval

Re-organisation of the field formations of the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) for the implementation of Goods & Services Tax (GST) has been approved by the Union Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley. The existing formations of Central Excise & Service Tax under the CBEC have been re-organised to implement and enforce the provisions of the proposed Goods & Services Tax Laws.

The Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) is being renamed as the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC), after getting legislative approval. The proposed CBIC shall, inter alia, supervise the work of all its field formations and Directorates and assist the Government in policy making in relation to GST, continuing Central Excise levy & Customs functions.

Supreme Court Directs Law Commission of India to Revisit the Provisions Relating to Regulation of Disciplinary Control Over Lawyers Under the Advocates Act

The recent judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Mahipal Singh Rana v. State of UP, AIR 2016 SC 3302, directed the Law Commission of India to revisit the provisions relating to regulation of disciplinary control over lawyers under the Advocates Act and to recommend appropriate amendments so as to make the Act more comprehensive thereby facilitating Parliament to enact a law that would effectively empower the authorities for such effective regulation. 

The Commission invited suggestions from all stakeholders by putting on its website a notice dated 22nd July, 2016, as to how the system could be improved. The attention of the Bar Council of India was drawn to the said notice by writing a letter on 3rd August, 2016. The Registrar General of all High Courts were addressed a similar email on 4th August, 2016. Simultaneously, an email was sent to all the State Bar Councils, Supreme Court Bar Association and Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association.

CCI Issues Order Against CIL And Its Subsidiaries For Abusing Dominant Position, Imposes Penalty

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has found Coal India Limited (CIL) and its subsidiaries to be in contravention of the provisions of Section 4(2)(a)(i) of the Competition Act, 2002 for imposing unfair/ discriminatory conditions in Fuel Supply Agreements (FSAs) with the power producers for supply of non-coking coal.

The Final Order has been passed today on a batch of informations filed by Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Ltd. and Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Limited against Coal India Ltd. and its subsidiaries (Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd., Western Coalfields Ltd., South Eastern Coalfields Ltd.).

The Order has been passed by CCI pursuant to the directions issued by Competition Appellate Tribunal remanding the matter back while setting aside the original order of CCI in which a penalty of Rs. 1773.05 crore had been imposed upon CIL.

[DGFT] Amendment in Para 2.17 of the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 on Imports and Exports to Democratic People`s Republic of Korea

Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Notification No. 41/2015-2020 dated 21st March, 2017

In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 5 read with Section 3(2) of the Foreign Trade (Development & Regulation) Act, 1992, as amended, read with Para 1.02 and Para 2.01 of the Foreign Trade Policy, 2015-2020, as amended from time to time, the Central Government hereby makes the following amendment in the Foreign Trade Policy, 2015-2020 with immediate effect: 

1. Paragraph 2.17 of the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 stands substituted as follows:-

"2.17 Prohibition on Direct or Indirect Import and Export from/to Democratic People's Republic of Korea

A. Direct or indirect export and import of following items, whether or not originating in Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), to/from, DPRK is 'Prohibited':

[DGFT] Amendments in Chapter 4 of the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20

Directorate General of Foreign Trade Notification No. 42/2015-2020 Dated: 21st March, 2017

In exercise of powers conferred by Section 5 of FT (D&R) Act, 1992, read with paragraph 1.02 of the Foreign Trade Policy, 2015-2020, as amended from time to time, the Central Government hereby makes following amendments in Chapter 4 of Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20.

1. The existing Para 4.22(ii) is amended to read as under:
"In cases of supplies to projects in India under deemed export category or projects abroad, the Export Obligation period shall be co-terminus with contracted duration of the project execution or 18 months whichever is more. "

Furnishing of Aadhaar Mandatory for Final Settlement of Pension Claims

The EPFO has clarified that obtaining of Aadhaar should be mandatory for the time being only for final settlement of Pension and not in withdrawal cases.

The EPFO had extended the date of submission of Aadhaar Number authentication by the members of Employees’Pension Scheme 1995 upto 31st March 2017.

However, news item appearing in few dailies suggested that Aadhaar is not required in settlement of pension claims. Accordingly, the EPFO reiterated that the requirement of submitting Aadhaar is not insisted for the time being only in withdrawal benefit cases under Employees’ Pension Scheme, 1995.

Furnishing of Aadhaar is still mandatory for final settlement of pension and scheme certificate cases.

[RBI] All Agency Banks to Remain Open for Public on All Days from March 25, 2017 to April 1, 2017

To facilitate government receipt and payment functions, all Agency Banks have been advised to keep all their bank branches dealing with government business open on all days in the current financial year and on April 1, 2017. The concerned departments of the Reserve Bank undertaking government business will also remain open on the above days.


The Government of India has advised that all Pay and Account Offices will remain open on all days up to April 1, 2017 to facilitate government receipt and payment functions. Accordingly, all Agency Banks are advised to keep all their branches dealing with government business open on all days in the current financial year and on April 1, 2017 (including Saturday, Sunday and all holidays).

Banks may give due publicity about availability of above banking services on these days.

Clarifications on Income Computation and Disclosure Standards (ICDS) notified under section 145(2) of the Income-tax Act, 1961

Central Board of Direct Taxes (TPL Division) Circular No. 10/2017 Date: 23rd March, 2017

Sub-section (1) of section 145 of the Income-tax Act, 1961('the Act') provides that the income chargeable under the head "Profits and gains of business or profession" or "Income from other sources" shall, subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), be computed in accordance with either cash or mercantile system of accounting regularly employed by the assessee. Sub-section (2) of section 145 provides that the Central Government may notify Income Computation and Disclosure Standards (ICDS) for any class of assessees or for any class of income. Accordingly, the Central Government notified 10 ICDS vide Notification No.S.O.892(E) dated 31st March, 2015 with effect from assessment year 2016-17.

After notification of ICDS, it has been brought to the notice of the Central Board of Direct Taxes ('the Board') by the stakeholders that certain provisions of ICDS may require amendment/clarification for proper implementation. The matter was referred to an expert committee. The Committee after duly consulting the stakeholders in this regard has recommended a two-fold approach for the smooth implementation of ICDS i.e amendment to the provisions of ICDS in respect of certain issues and issuance of clarifications by way of FAQs for the rest of issues. Accordingly, vide Notification no 87. dated 29th September, 2016 Central Government notified amended ICDS with effect from the assessment year 2017-18.

Further, the issues which require further clarification has been considered by Board and following clarifications are issued:

Question 1: Preamble of ICDS-I states that this ICDS is applicable for computation of income chargeable under the head "Profits and gains of business or profession" or "Income from other sources" and not for the purposes of maintenance of books of accounts. However, Para 1 of ICDS I states that it deals with significant accounting policies. Accounting policies are applied for maintenance of books of accounts and preparing financial statements. What is the interplay between ICDS-I and maintenance of books of accounts?

[SEBI] Clarification - Circular on Schemes of Arrangement by Listed Entities and (ii) Relaxation under Sub-rule (7) of rule 19 of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Rules, 1957


1. This is with reference to SEBI Circular No.CFD/DIL3/CIR/2017/21 dated March 10, 2017 on the captioned subject.

2. Para 8 of the aforesaid circular provides that the pricing provisions of Chapter VII of SEBI (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2009 shall be followed in case of issuance of shares to a select group of shareholders or shareholders of unlisted companies pursuant to such schemes. It is now clarified that the ‘relevant date’ for the purpose of computing pricing shall be the date of Board meeting in which the scheme is approved.

[Tax] Third Protocol Amending India-Singapore DTAA Comes into Force

The Third Protocol amending India-Singapore Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) which was signed on 30th December, 2016 has entered into force on 27th February 2017. The same has been notified in the Official Gazette today(23-Mar-2017).

The India-Singapore DTAA at present provides for residence based taxation of capital gains of shares in a company. The Third Protocol amends the DTAA with effect from 01st April, 2017 to provide for source based taxation of capital gains arising on sale of shares in a company. This will curb revenue loss, prevent double non-taxation and streamline the flow of investments. In order to provide certainty to investors, investments in shares made before 01st April, 2017 have been grandfathered subject to fulfillment of conditions in Limitation of Benefits clause as per 2005 Protocol. Further, a two-year transition period from 1st April, 2017 to 31st March, 2019 has been provided during which capital gains on shares will be taxed in source country at half of normal tax rate, subject to fulfillment of conditions in Limitation of Benefits clause.

Amendments to the Companies Act, 2013 by the Finance Bill, 2017 as passed by Lok Sabha on 22.03.2017

Extracts from the Finance Bill, 2017 as passed by Lok Sabha on 22.03.2017 is as under:

PART XII
AMENDMENTS TO THE COMPANIES ACT, 2013

154. In the Companies Act, 2013, in section 182

(i) in sub-section (1),—
(a) first proviso shall be omitted; 
(b) in the second proviso, —
(A) the word "further" shall be omitted;
(B) the words "and the acceptance" shall be omitted;
(ii) for sub-section (3), the following shall be substituted, namely:—
‘‘(3) Every company shall disclose in its profit and loss account the total amount contributed by it under this section during the financial year to which the account relates. 
(3A) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the contribution under this section shall not be made except by an account payee cheque drawn on a bank or an account payee bank draft or use of electronic clearing system through a bank account: 
Provided that a company may make contribution through any instrument, issued pursuant to any scheme notified under any law for the time being in force, for contribution to the political parties.’’.

Draft IT (Security of Prepaid Payment Instruments) Rules, 2017 (Comments-Last date by 5th April 2017)

With the Government promoting cashless economy and boost being given to various digital payment systems, a need is felt to develop a framework for security of various Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs) operating in the country. Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has formulated draft rules for security of prepaid payment instruments under provisions of Information Technology Act 2000.

To have wide consultation, the draft Rules are being published on MeitY website for inviting public comments. Please provide your comments on the draft rules latest by 5th April 2017. (last date extended upto 5th April 2017)

The comments may be forwarded to Shri Prafulla Kumar, Scientist-G, MeitY at pkumar@meity.gov.in

Download Draft rules for Security of Prepaid Payment Instruments - Click Here

EPFO Invest more than Rs. 18 crore in ETFs

Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is investing in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) based on Nifty 50, Sensex and Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE) Indices. EPFO does not invest in shares and equities of individual companies.

The total amount invested by EPFO in ETFs as on 28th February, 2017 is as under:  
(i) Nifty 50 and Sensex Index based ETFs: Rs. 17,105 crore
(ii) CPSE Index based ETF: Rs. 1,504 crore.
The Employees’ Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions (EPF & MP) Act, 1952 is applicable to every establishment employing 20 or more persons which is either a factory engaged in any industry specified in Schedule–I of the Act or an establishment to which the Act has been made applicable by the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette.

Securities Contracts (Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2017

Ministry of Finance, Department of Economic Affairs, Notification, dated the 20th March, 2017

G.S.R. 268(E).—In exercise of the powers conferred by section 30 of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 (42 of 1956), the Central Government hereby makes the following rules further to amend the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Rules, 1957, namely:—

1. (1) These rules may be called as Securities Contracts (Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2017.
(2) They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.

2. In the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Rules, 1957, in rule 8,—
a) the proviso to clause (iii) of sub-rule (4) shall be omitted;

Submission of Accounts for Debt Securities issued under the SEBI (Issue and Listing of Debt Securities by Municipalities) Regulations, 2015


1. Regulation 15 (1) (b) of the SEBI (Issue and Listing of Debt Securities by Municipalities) Regulations, 2015 (SEBI ILDM regulations) requires that an issuer making issue of debt securities under these regulations, on a private placement basis, shall submit its accounts prepared in accordance with National Municipal Accounts Manual or in accordance with similar Municipal Accounts Manual adopted by the respective State Government for at least three immediately preceding financial years.

2. SEBI is in receipt of feedback that as per the processes followed by municipalities/ municipal corporations, the audited accounts for a financial year would be available by the end of the next financial year due to late approval of accounts. The accounts of a financial year, along with the budget for the next financial year, gets approved by the standing committee and governing body only in the next financial year. This leads to time lag of over one financial year.

[Customs] Regarding Classification of Leggings



1. The Conference of Chief Commissioners of Customs and Director Generals held on 3rd January, 2017, New Delhi on Customs Tariff and Allied Matters had deliberated on the classification of leggings. The issue was sponsored by Chief Commissioner of Customs (Delhi Zone). It was decided that the classification of the said item would be examined in the Board.

2. The issue has been examined by the Board and it is observed that-

a. the CESTAT in the case of Commissioners of Customs, Tuticorin Vs. Go Fashions (I) Pvt. Ltd had held the leggings akin to tights and accordingly classified them under CTH 6115. An earlier ruling of the Government ofIndia also held the same.

[Customs] Rebate of State Levies (RoSL) on Export of made-up articles – Implementation by CBEC

Central Board of Excise and Customs, Drawback Division, Circular No. 8/2017 - Customs dated 20th March 2017

1. The Government of India has decided to extend the RoSL on garment exports to exports of made-up articles covered under Chapter 63 of the AIR Drawback schedule. It is provided based on a budgetary allocation of the Ministry of Textiles under a scheme in which the Department of Revenue/Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) handles disbursement along with the extant Duty Drawback. This is exactly on lines of ROSL for garments, details of which are available in Circular no. 43/2016-Cus dated 31.08.2016.

2. In pursuance of this decision, the Central Government (Ministry of Textiles) has issued Notification No. 12015/47/2016-IT dated 03.01.2017 for the Scheme for ROSL on export of made-up articles. Further, based on the recommendations of the Drawback Committee constituted by the Central Government (Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue, CBEC), the Central Government (Ministry of Textiles) has issued Notification No.12015/47/2016-IT dated 15.03.2017 notifying the rates of rebate in Schedule 3. These notifications should be downloaded from egazette.gov.in and perused. This Circular provides the guideline framework for implementation of this scheme.

RBI releases data on ECB / FCCB for February 2017

The Reserve Bank of India has today released the data on External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) and Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds (FCCB), both through Automatic Route and Approval Route, for the month of February 2017.

Data on External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) and Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds (FCCB) - click here

Risk Management & Inter-bank Dealings: Operational Flexibility for Indian subsidiaries of Non-resident Companies

Reserve Bank of India(RBI) A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 41 dated March 21, 2017 to all Authorised Dealer Category - I Banks

1. Attention of Authorised Dealers Category – I (AD Category – I) banks is invited to the Foreign Exchange Management (Foreign Exchange Derivative Contracts) Regulations, 2000 dated May 3, 2000 (Notification No. FEMA. 25/RB-2000 dated May 3, 2000) issued under clause (h) of subsection (2) of Section 47 of FEMA, 1999 (Act 42 of 1999), as amended from time to time and Master Direction on Risk Management and Inter-Bank Dealings dated July 5, 2016, as amended from time to time.

2. With a view to providing operational flexibility to multinational entities and their Indian subsidiaries exposed to currency risk arising out of current account transactions emanating in India, the extant hedging guidelines have been amended as per the terms and conditions in the Annex I to this circular. An announcement to this effect was made in the Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies of Reserve Bank of India dated October 4th, 2016 (para. 9).

Errors in bank a/c details given by exporters for processing claims of Duty Drawback & Rebate of State Levies (RoSL) Scheme

Central Board of Excise & Customs(CBEC) Drawback Division Instructions no. 3/2017-Customs dated the 16th March, 2017

1. It has been brought to the notice of the Board by Systems Directorate that at times errors exist in the Bank account number, IFSC code, etc. given by exporters, which leads to rejection of claim for payment of Duty Drawback by the local bank authorities. Similarly, even a single such error leads to rejection of entire scroll in the Public Financial Management System (PFMS) during the processing of claims for Rebate of State Levies (RoSL).

2. The exporters had earlier been advised by the Systems Directorate to ensure correct account details vide their advisory/ ticker on the ICEGATE website. However, it is found that these details in respect of numerous exporters are still not rectified, leading to rejection of claims of Duty Drawback and scrolls of RoSL amount.

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