19 March 2018

Notifications & Circulars

Press Information Bureau



Cabinet approves MoU between India and Iran for cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors


The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post-facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Iran for cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors. The MoU was signed on 17th February, 2018 during the visit of the President of Iran to India.

The MoU provides for cooperation in the areas of agricultural crops, agricultural extension, horticulture, machinery, post harvest technology, plant quarantine measures, credit and cooperation. It also provides for cooperation in soil conservation and water management, integrated nutrients management, seed technology and agricultural marketing. Livestock improvement, dairy development, animal health and other fields as mutually agreed upon fall within the scope of this MoU. Cooperation will also be effected through exchange of experts, materials and information, exchange of trainees and scientists on study visits/training programmes, facilitation of relevant conferences and workshops and any other means as may be mutually agreed upon.

Under the MoU, a Joint Working Group (JWG) will be formed to monitor the activities carried out in fulfillment of this MoU. The JWG will hold its meeting alternately in India and Iran once in every two years. The MoU will be valid initially for a period of five years and will be automatically extended for a subsequent period of five years unless either party notifies the other party of its intent of terminating it.

Tags : MoU Approval Agriculture sector

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Press Information Bureau



Haj Subsidy to be discontinue from Financial Year 2018-19


The Central Government has decided to discontinue the Haj subsidy from the year 2018-2019. The amount of Haj subsidy provided by the Government of India reflects in the budget of Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), which is the nodal Ministry responsible for making air travel arrangements for Haj pilgrims identified by the Haj Committee of India (HCoI). Budgetary provision of Rs. 200 crore for the Haj subsidy has been made in the Budget Estimates for 2017-2018.

The welfare schemes meant for minorities are implemented by Ministry of Minority Affairs from the budget allocated to the Ministry. An additional allocation of Rs.505 Crore has been made for the Ministry of Minority Affairs for the year 2018-2019. It has been decided to allocate bulk of the additional funding for educational empowerment of Minority communities.

Tags : Haj Subsidy Discontinuation

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Press Information Bureau



NCRB launches Mobile App useful for Citizens on its 33rd Inception Day


The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) celebrated its 33rd Inception Day and released "Citizen Services" Mobile App. Shri Rajiv Jain, Director, IB was the Chief Guest and Dr. A.P. Maheshwari, DG, BPR&D was the Guest of Honour on this occasion. A Mobile App called "Citizen Services" was released on this occasion.

Citizen Services Mobile App

NCRB has introduced a Mobile App template, which is a bouquet of 9 police related services, for the citizen. These services will provide smooth interface between Citizens and Police. States/UTs upon customization can host this App on their CCTNS platform through which citizens can register Police Complaint, and can check the Status of their complaint. Another feature of the App also enables a complainant to download FIR (except those categorized as "Sensitive").

Clicking SOS button of the App, automatically sends an emergency SMS to friends and family with user's current location. Locate Police Station feature helps a citizen to locate nearby police station details and route to approach using GPS technology. Emergency Contact List provides helpline numbers, which are useful during emergency or regular services like Fire Brigade, Ambulance, Medical Emergency, Women Helpline, Railway Helpline and Child Helpline. Any citizen can anonymously inform Police about any suspicious/anti-social activities using Citizen Tip feature. Using Telephone Directory feature, Citizen can view detail of any police station in a district for particular State. Vahan Samanvay stolen vehicle Registration feature is helpful to the public, Road Transport Authorities, and Insurance agencies, to verify the status of stolen/recovered vehicles, before purchase, re-registration, claim settlement etc.. Talash/ Missing Person (Lost persons Registration) a web link in the App to provide a link to NCRB website displaying missing persons/ unidentified dead bodies and unidentified persons.

The App is developed by in house team of NCRB and as per the compliance of MeitY directions, the Mobile App was tested & certified by CERT-In empanelled Company. The App is being released to States/UTs for utilization at field levels.

Tags : NCRB Mobile app Launch

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Press Information Bureau


Direct Taxation

Cabinet approves Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion between India and Iran


The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved an Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income between India and Iran.

The Agreement will stimulate flow of investment, technology and personnel from India to Iran & vice versa, and will prevent double taxation. The Agreement will provide for exchange of information between the two Contracting Parties as per latest international standards. It will thus improve transparency in tax matters and will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance.

The Agreement is on similar lines as entered into by India with other countries. The proposed Agreement also meets treaty related minimum standards under G-20 OECD Base Erosion & Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project, in which India participated on an equal footing.

In so far as India is concerned, the Central Government is authorized under Section 90 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 to enter into an Agreement with a foreign country or specified territory for avoidance of double taxation of income for exchange of information for the prevention of evasion or avoidance of income-tax chargeable under the Income-tax Act, 1961.

Tags : Agreement Approval Double Taxation

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Securities and Exchange Board of India


Capital Market

Clarifications in respect of investment by certain Category II FPIs


I. This is in reference to SEBI circular No. CIR/IMD/FPIC/ 26 /2018 dated February 15, 2018 regarding "Easing of access norms for investment by FPIs".

II. In view of queries from stakeholders, the following clarifications are made in respect of investment by certain category II FPIs:-

(1) The collective investment vehicle of private banks/ merchant banks investing on behalf of clients need to ensure the following:-

a) The client/ investor should have fulfilled know your client norms. The beneficial owners (BO) of client/ investor of bank should be identified in accordance with Rule 9 of Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005.

b) The client/ investor or their BO should not be Resident Indian/ NRI/ Overseas Citizen of India.

c) The client/ investor is not resident in a country identified in the public statement of Financial Action Task Force as:-

i. a jurisdiction having a strategic Anti-Money Laundering or Combating the Financing of Terrorism deficiencies to which counter measures apply; or

ii. a jurisdiction that has not made sufficient progress in addressing the deficiencies or has not committed to an action plan developed with the Financial Action Task Force to address the deficiencies;

d) The client/ investor should not have opaque structure(s), as defined under Explanation 1 of Regulation 32(1)(f) of SEBI (Foreign Portfolio Investors) Regulations, 2014 or Bearer share structure.

e) The collective investment vehicle of the Bank (other than for ODIs) should be broad based (more than 20 investors and no investor having more than 49% stake) and there should be common portfolio for all clients/ investors.

f) The conditions already specified at point (g) of SEBI circular dated February 15, 2018 shall continue to be applicable.

(2) Presently, appropriately regulated broad based insurance/ reinsurance companies are investing proprietary funds and for unit linked/ investment products. In this regard, it is clarified that investment in India by insurance/ reinsurance companies must be maintained as an undivided common portfolio. Segregated portfolio or investor/ policy-holder level investment structure shall not be permitted.

(3) In respect of other appropriately regulated persons permitted as Cat. II FPIs viz. asset management companies, investment managers/ advisers, Portfolio managers, Broker-dealer and Swap-dealer. It is clarified that:-

(a) They are permitted to invest their proprietary funds,

(b) These appropriately regulated persons by taking separate registration can also invest with client funds as an ODI Issuing FPI or after fulfiling the condition of being broad based and having a common portfolio. However, asset management companies having thematic portfolios can also have segregated structure if each theme is broad based.

(4) All other investment restrictions and due diligence requirements as applicable to FPIs shall continue to be applicable on entities referred at (1) to (3) above.

III. This circular is issued in exercise of powers conferred under Section 11(1) of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 to protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote the development of, and to regulate the securities market.

IV. A copy of this circular is available at the links "Legal Framework →Circulars" and "Info for →F.P.I" on our website. The DDPs/Custodians are requested to bring the contents of this circular to the notice of their FPI clients.

Tags : Clarifications Investment FPIs

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Press Information Bureau



Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the Reserve Bank of India


The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The MoU was signed by Mr. Sudarshan Sen, Executive Director of the RBI and Dr. (Ms.) Mamta Suri, Executive Director of the IBBI in the august presence of Mr. Injeti Srinivas, Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Corporate Affairs; Dr. M. S. Sahoo, Chairperson, IBBI and other distinguished Members of the Insolvency Law Committee (ILC) on the side-lines of the 4th meeting of the ILC at New Delhi.

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (Code) provides for reorganisation and insolvency resolution of corporate persons, partnership firms and individuals in a time bound manner for maximization of the value of assets of such persons, to promote entrepreneurship, availability of credit and balance the interests of all the stakeholders and, for this purpose, has established an institutional infrastructure comprising of Adjudicating Authorities, the IBBI, insolvency professionals, insolvency professional agencies and information utilities. The IBBI exercises regulatory oversight over the Insolvency Professionals, Insolvency Professional Agencies and Information Utilities. It writes and enforces rules for processes, namely, corporate insolvency resolution, corporate liquidation, individual insolvency resolution and individual bankruptcy under the Code.

Both the RBI and the IBBI are interested in the effective implementation of the Code and its allied rules and regulations, through a quick and efficient resolution process. Therefore, they have agreed under the MoU to assist and co-operate with each other for the effective implementation of the Code, subject to limitations imposed by the applicable laws.

The MoU provides for: (a) sharing of information between the two parties, subject to the limitations imposed by the applicable laws; (b) sharing of resources available with each other to the extent feasible and legally permissible; (c) periodic meetings to discuss matters of mutual interest, including regulatory requirements that impact each party's responsibilities, enforcement cases, research and data analysis, information technology and data sharing, or any other matter that the parties believe would be of interest to each other in fulfilling their respective statutory obligations; (d) cross-training of staff in order to enhance each party's understanding of the other's mission for effective utilisation of collective resources; (e) capacity building of insolvency professionals and financial creditors; (f) joint efforts towards enhancing the level of awareness among financial creditors about the importance and necessity of swift insolvency resolution process of various types of borrowers in distress under the provisions of the Code, etc.

Tags : MOU Signing of Insolvency

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Press Information Bureau



Centre Taking Steps to Promote Textiles and Apparel Exports: Mos Textiles


The Central Government has taken several steps to improve textile and apparel exports. It has enhanced rates of Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) from 2 per cent to 4 per cent for apparel and made-ups with effect from 1st November, 2017. This information was given by the Minister of State for Textiles, Ajay Tamta in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today. He said, the government has also revised post-GST rates of Rebate of State Levies (RoSL) Scheme implemented from 1st October, 2017 and exempted IGST on import under Advance Authorization and Export Promotion Capital Goods Scheme. The Minister further said that the Finance Ministry has been requested for allocation of appropriate funds under RoSL for one time settlement of exporters' claim and faster and complete refund of Input Tax Credit.

In Reply to another question, the MoS Textiles said major issues raised by apparel industry include delay in Input Tax Credit (ITC) refunds, reduction in rates of Rebate for State Levies (RoSL) Scheme, appreciation of Indian Rupee, high Interest Rate and lack of Preferential Market Access as compared to competing nations. He said, the Government has constituted a Committee on Exports under the Revenue Secretary of Ministry of Finance for evolving a suitable strategy for promoting exports post implementation of GST.

Tags : Textiles Promotion Steps

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Press Information Bureau



An Empowered Expert Committee to select ten private and ten public institutions of Eminence


University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued / notified enabling regulatory architecture in the form of UGC (Declaration of Govt. Educational Institutions as Institutions of Eminence) Guidelines, 2017 and UGC (Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2017 to enable 10 public and 10 private institutions to emerge as World Class Teaching and Research Institutions named as 'Institutions of Eminence' (IoEs).

As per the Guidelines and Regulations, an Empowered Expert Committee (EEC) has been constituted to select 10 Private and 10 Public Institutions of Eminence (IoEs) from the 114 applications which have been received in the Ministry for the status of IoEs. No timeline has been prescribed in the Regulations for selection of IoE. The composition of the said committee is as under:

Shri N Gopalaswami (Chairman)- former Chief Election Commissioner (EEC)

Professor Tarun Khanna (Member)- Director of South Asia Institute at Harvard University

Ms. Renu Khator(Member)-President of University of Houston

Shri Pritam Singh(Member)- former Director of IIM Lucknow.

The selected IoEs will have freedom to fix and charge fee from foreign students without restriction and would have the freedom to determine the domestic students fees, subject to the condition that no student who gains admission should be turned away for lack of finance.

The IoEs shall have flexibility of course structure in terms of credit hours and number of years to take a degree, after the approval of its Governing council and subject to broadly conforming the minimum prevailing standards.

The IoEs will have freedom to enter into academic collaboration with top 500 Global ranking institutions without approval of the Government or UGC except with institutions from negative list of countries determined by the Ministry of External Affairs or the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Tags : Empowered committee Selection Institutions

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