17 April 2017


Notifications & Circulars

Press Information Bureau

11.04.2017

Banking

Charges on digital transactions

MANU/PIBU/0395/2017

Digital financial transactions are a part of the Government's strategy to create histories of transactions, including the associated credit, and thereby enable small and micro enterprises to access formal credit, improve tax compliance, and mainstream financial savings into the banking system, which will help mobilise such savings for economic growth.

All payment systems including currency entail costs, which are borne among transacting parties and payment service providers, and the cost structures of various systems differ. Payment systems also differ in the advantages they offer to transacting parties. E.g., digital transactions can be made without having to access cash, and they offer an opportunity to make payments anytime and from anywhere, without loss of interest income. Transacting parties select a payment system not only on the basis of cost but keeping in mind such advantages as well.

State Bank of India has apprised that three cash deposit transactions at branches are available to savings bank accountholders free of charge. Thereafter, a charge of Rs. 50 plus service tax per transaction is to be levied. In addition to the free cash deposit transactions at branches, accountholders can also deposit cash using ATM/debit card, into the card-linked account, at cash points (Cash Deposit Machines / Cash Recyclers), any number of times, free of charge.

Tags : Digital transactions Charges Levy

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Reserve Bank of India

11.04.2017

Banking

RBI announces Draft Framework on introduction of Tri-Party Repo

MANU/RPRL/0062/2017

The Reserve Bank of India, today, released the draft framework on the introduction of Tri-Party Repo. Tri-party repo will enable market participants to use underlying collateral more efficiently and facilitate development of the term repo market in India. Draft directions allow introduction of tri-party repo on both Government securities and corporate bonds. Comments on the draft framework are invited from market participants by May 5, 2017. Comments may be emailed or sent by post to the Chief General Manager, Reserve Bank of India, Financial Markets Regulation Department, Central Office, Main Building, Mumbai - 400001.

Tags : Tri-Party Repo Framework Announcement

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Press Information Bureau

12.04.2017

Civil

Cabinet approves implementation of Supreme Court's Judgment regarding Target Plus Scheme (TPS) under Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2004-2009

MANU/PIBU/0407/2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the implementation of Supreme Court's Judgment dated 27th October 2015 regarding Target Plus Scheme (TPS) 2004-09 in Civil Application No. 554 of 2006. The revenue implication under the TPS arising from the Hon'ble Supreme Curt's Judgment is about Rs. 2700 crore. Benefit is being extended to all the applicant exporters eligible as per provisions of the initially notified TPS Scheme under FTP for the year 2005-2006, and as per provisions of Foreign Trade Policy 2004-2009 throughout the country.

The Target Plus Scheme (TPS) 2005-06 was already implemented partially. However, the claims which were denied as a result of retrospective Notification will be now settled as per direction of the Supreme Court in the CA No. 554 of 2006. The scheme has been discontinued w.e.f. 01.04.2006. The claims will be considered as per original notifications till the date of the Notification No. 48 dated 20.02.2006 and Notification No. 8 dated 12.8.2006. The guidelines and modalities for processing the claims will be worked out by the DGFT HQs in consultation with Deptt. of Revenue and is proposed to be completed in one year from the date of approval of the Cabinet. The corrective measure will bring an end to multiple litigations with the Government and the claims under the TPS will be issued as per original provisions under Foreign Trade Policy in compliance with the decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court.

Background

In the Civil Appeal No. 554/2006 titled DGFT v/s Kanak Exports & Ors., the Hon'ble Supreme Court, in its Judgment dated 27.10.2015 gave verdict on the Target Plus Scheme for Export Promotion. It held that the Notification No. 48/2005 dated February 20, 2006 (certain products were made ineligible) and Notification No. 8/2006 dated June 12, 2006 (rates were reduced to 5% from the earlier 5, 10 and 15%) related to the Target Plus Scheme (TPS) could not be applied retrospectively and they would be effective only from the date of their issue.

Tags : Judgment Implementation Target Plus Scheme

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Press Information Bureau

12.04.2017

Civil

Cabinet approves MoU on cooperation in the field of justice between India and Tunisia

MANU/PIBU/0412/2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the field of justice between India and Tunisia. During the recent years, social, cultural and commercial relations between India and Tunisia have developed in a positive direction. Signing of an agreement on cooperation in the field of justice will further enhance good relations between the two countries and add new dimensions in the field of judicial reforms.

Tags : MOU Approval Justice

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Press Information Bureau

12.04.2017

Civil

Cabinet approves signing of Framework of Understanding between India and Bangladesh on Cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector

MANU/PIBU/0408/2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved signing of Framework of Understanding (FoU) on Cooperation in the Hydrocarbon Sector with Bangladesh. The objective of the proposed FoU is to establish a cooperative institutional framework mechanism to facilitate and enhance India-Bangladesh bilateral cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. The FoU promotes bilateral cooperation at the sub-regional and regional levels. It will provide impetus to development and enable the two countries to realize their developmental aspirations, shared destiny and common vision of a peaceful and prosperous South Asia. The proposed FoU is non-binding in nature and will be valid for five years.

Tags : Hydrocarbon sector Cooperation Approval

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Press Information Bureau

11.04.2017

Civil

Special Investigation Team

MANU/PIBU/0399/2017

SIT has been constituted in pursuance of the Order dated 4.7.2011 of Hon'ble Supreme Court of India passed in Writ Petition (Civil) No.176 of 2009. The Special Investigation Team has so far submitted five reports before the Hon'ble Supreme Court. The action taken with respect to HSBC, ICIJ and Panama Paper cases is as follows:

1. Investigation in HSBC foreign bank accounts cases: Out of the 409 cases in which assessments have been completed, concealment penalty of about Rs.1287 crore has been levied in 161 cases. Besides, in 72 cases concealment penalty proceedings initiated are pending. After completion of assessments, an amount of about Rs.337 crore (approx.) has been recovered out of the above-mentioned tax and penalty demand raised. This does not include amount paid by way of self-assessment tax in certain cases. So far, 190 prosecution complaints in HSBC cases have been filed in 77 cases.

2. Investigation in International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) cases: The ICIJ, a Washington based organization, put in public domain [www.icij.org] certain information pertaining to offshore entities based in no tax or low tax jurisdictions. Investigations were conducted by the Income Tax Department in cases of Indians appearing in the disclosures in which undisclosed credits of more than 8500 crore in the foreign bank accounts have been detected and 66 Prosecution complaints have been filed in 30 cases.

3. Investigation in the cases revealed in 'Panama Papers leaks: The Government constituted a Multi-Agency Group (MAG) on 4th April 2016, inter alia, for facilitating co-ordinated and speedy investigation in the cases of Indian persons allegedly having undisclosed foreign assets and whose names are reportedly included in Panama Papers leaks. Total number of persons under enquiry by Investigation Directorate is 424. PAN could be traced from the database in 349 cases. 103 persons are found to be non-residents. Searches were conducted in 25 cases and surveys in 11 cases.

4. The disclosure of information regarding specific taxpayers is prohibited except as provided under section 138 of the Income-tax Act, 1961. Further, information received under the provisions of Tax Treaties with foreign countries is governed, inter-alia, by the confidentiality clause in such instruments.

Tags : SIT Constitution Order Supreme Court

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Press Information Bureau

11.04.2017

Direct Taxation

CBDT issues PAN and TAN within 1 day to improve Ease of Doing Business

MANU/PIBU/0396/2017

In order to improve the Ease of Doing Business for newly incorporated corporates, CBDT has tied up with Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) to issue Permanent Account Number (PAN) and Tax Deduction Account Number (TAN) in 1 day.

Applicant companies submit a common application form SPICe (INC 32) on MCA portal and once the data of incorporation is sent to CBDT by MCA, the PAN and TAN are issued immediately without any further intervention of the applicant. The Certificate of Incorporation (COI) of newly incorporated companies includes the PAN in addition to the Corporate Identity Number (CIN). TAN is also allotted simultaneously and communicated to the Company.

Till 31st March 2017, 19,704 newly incorporated Companies were allotted PAN in this manner. During March, 2017, of the 10,894 newly incorporated companies, PAN was allotted within 4 hrs in 95.63% cases and within 1 day in all cases. Similarly, TAN was allotted to all such companies within 4 hrs in 94.7 % cases and within 1 day in 99.73% cases.

CBDT's initiative in starting of a business is expected to significantly improve the ranking of India in the Ease of Doing Business Study conducted by World Bank by reducing the number of processes of registration before various authorities under law, reducing the time taken for allotment of the registration number (CIN, PAN, TAN) and making the entire registration process for new companies much simpler.

CBDT has also introduced the Electronic PAN Card (E-PAN) which is sent by email, in addition to issue of the physical PAN Card, to all applicants including individuals where PAN is allotted. Applicant would be benefited by having a digitally signed E-PAN card which they can submit as proof of identity to other agency electronically directly or by storing in the Digital Locker.

Tags : PAN TAN Issuance

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Press Information Bureau

10.04.2017

Labour and Industrial

Government makes compliance of Labour Laws and Rules easy

MANU/PIBU/0394/2017

The Government has undertaken an exercise to promote ease of compliance of Labour Laws and Rules by various establishments. The "Rationalisation of Forms and Reports under Certain Labour Laws Rules, 2017" has reduced the number of forms and reports prescribed under 3 Acts and the Rules made thereunder from 36 to 12. The overall aim of the exercise is to make the forms and reports easy to understand for the users. This will save efforts, costs and lessen the compliance burden of various establishments. As per the sixth Economic Census of Central Statistical Office, conducted during 2013-2014, there are about 5.85 crore establishments in agriculture and non- agriculture sectors of the country.

While reviewing the requirement of filing forms under various Labour Lawsit was observed that 36 forms prescribed under 3 Acts and the Rules made thereunder had several overlapping/redundant fields. Therefore, an exercise was undertaken by the Ministry of Labour and Employment to do away with overlapping fields and reduce the number of forms. An intention notification for reducing the number of forms and reports was placed in the public domain on 9th February, 2017 and objections and suggestions thereon were sought from all stake-holders.

The Labour Laws under which these forms are filed include:

(I) The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970.

(II) The Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979.

(III) The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996.

Tags : Labour laws Compliance Ease of

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Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

11.04.2017

Media and Communication

Extension of time for receiving comments on Consultation Paper on 'Regulatory Principles of Tariff Assessment'

MANU/TRAI/0031/2017

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued a Consultation Paper on 'Regulatory Principles of Tariff Assessment' on 17th February, 2017 inviting comments from the stakeholders by 17th March, 2017 and counter comments by 24th March, 2017. On request from various stakeholders, the last date for the submission of comments on the Consultation Paper was extended upto 7th April, 2017 and counter comments by 15th April, 2017. TRAI has received request from the stakeholders for further extension of time for submission of comments. The Authority has therefore, extended time for submission of comments upto 21st April, 2017 and counter comments by 1st May, 2017. Comments on the Consultation Paper may be sent, preferably in electronic form on the e-mail address advfeal@trai.gov.in. Comments/ counter comments will be posted on TRAI's website.

Tags : Tariff Assessment Time Extension

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Press Information Bureau

12.04.2017

Power and Energy

Cabinet approves the "Signing and Ratification of MoU for Establishment of the BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection"

MANU/PIBU/0406/2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Power for Signing of "Memorandum of Understanding for Establishment of the BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection". It will be signed among member states of BIMSTEC at the upcoming 3rd BIMSTEC Energy Ministers' Meeting to be held in Nepal shortly.

Background

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organisation involving a group of countries in South Asia and South East Asia viz. Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal. The "Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation in BIMSTEC" was formulated in the first BIMSTEC Energy Ministers' Conference held in New Delhi on October 4, 2005. In this plan, under the "BIMSTEC Trans-Power Exchange and Development Project", it was decided that a Task Force led by Thailand, with representatives of member countries, will give a report on draft MoU for grid interconnections. Total five meetings Task Force for BIMSTEC on Trans-power Exchange were held and the draft MoU for establishment of BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection was finalized by the Task Force on 16th Mar 2015.

In the BIMSTEC Leaders' Retreat 2016, held in Goa on 16th October 2016, the Leaders decided to expedite the signing of the MoU on BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection. Eventually, during the 4th meeting of BIMSTEC Senior Officials on Energy held on 11th-12th January 2017, the MoU was discussed and finalized.

Impact

This MoU will provide a broad framework for the Parties to cooperate towards the implementation of grid interconnections for the trade in electricity with a view to promoting rational and optimal power transmission in the BIMSTEC region. This MoU will facilitate:

(i) the optimization of using the energy resources in the region for mutual benefits on non-discriminatory basis subject to laws, rules and regulations of the respective Parties;

(ii) the promotion of efficient, economic, and secure operation of power system needed through the development of regional electricity networks;

(iii) the necessity of optimization of capital investment for generation capacity addition across the region; and

(iv) power exchange through cross border interconnections.

Tags : MOU Ratification Grid Interconnection

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