5 November 2018


Notifications & Circulars

Press Information Bureau

01.11.2018

Civil

Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and the Russian Federation for the development of cooperation in transport education

MANU/PIBU/1496/2018

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the following two instruments, namely, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC), with Russia on 5th October, 2018:

i. MoU with the Ministry of Transport of the Russian federation for the development of cooperation in transport education for the development of cooperation in transport education.

ii. MoC with the Joint Stock Company "Russian Railways" (RZD) on technical cooperation in the field of railways.

The MoUs/ MoCs provide a platform for Indian Railways to interact and share the latest developments and knowledge in the railway sector. The MoUs/ MoCs facilitate exchange of technical experts, reports and technical documents, training and seminars/ workshops focusing on specific technology areas and other interactions for knowledge sharing.

The MoU will envisage cooperation in the priority areas for the development of transport education. This would enable preparation of specific proposals in this area including their implementation within the framework of the Intergovernmental Russian-Indian Commission on Trade-Economic, Scientific-Technical and Cultural cooperation.

The MoC will enable technical cooperation in the following areas:-

a. Implementation of the project for upgrading the Nagpur- Secunderabad section to raise passenger trains speed up to 200 kmph (Semi High Speed) with possible extension of the section including other directions of Indian Railway (IR) network;

b. Implementation of a Single Traffic Control Center to manage mixed traffic at the regional level, divisional railway and/ or at the upper network level uniting all the IR's zonal railways;

c. Customization, organization of joint manufacture and implementation of a competitive signaling and interlocking system;

d. Supply and localization of turnout switches for Semi High Speed and above;

e. Training and advanced qualification improvement of Indian railway employees with the involvement of Russian railway-related higher education establishments;

f. Best practices in Freight Cargo operations; and

g. Joint development of multi modal terminals in India.

Background:

Ministry of Railways have signed MoUs/ MoCs for technical cooperation in the rail sector with various foreign Governments and National Railways. The identified areas of cooperation include high speed rail, speed raising of existing routes, development of world class stations, heavy haul operations and modernization of rail infrastructure etc. The cooperation is achieved through exchange of information on developments in areas of railway technology & operations, knowledge sharing, technical visits, training & seminars and workshops in areas of mutual interest.

Tags : MoU Co-operation Transport education

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Press Information Bureau

01.11.2018

Criminal

Cabinet approves Agreement between India and Morocco on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters

MANU/PIBU/1497/2018

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Agreement between India and Morocco on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.

Benefits:

The Agreement will provide a broad legal framework for bilateral cooperation between India and Morocco in investigation and prosecution of crime, tracing, restraint, forfeiture or confiscation or proceeds and instruments of crime. It aims to increase effectiveness in investigation and prosecution of crime, and in providing the necessary peaceful ambience which is a pre-requisite for the development of society as a whole. It will further be instrumental in gaining better inputs and insights in the modus operandi of organized criminals and terrorists, which in turn can be used to fine-tune policy decisions in the field of Internal Security.

Tags : Agreement Legal Assistance Criminal Matters

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Press Information Bureau

31.10.2018

Banking

Autonomy for Central Bank, within the Framework of the RBI Act, Is an Essential and Accepted Governance Requirement: Says Government

MANU/PIBU/1491/2018

The autonomy for the Central Bank, within the framework of the RBI Act, is an essential and accepted governance requirement. Governments in India have nurtured and respected this. Both the Government and the Central Bank, in their functioning, have to be guided by public interest and the requirements of the Indian economy. For the purpose, extensive consultations on several issues take place between the Government and the RBI from time to time. This is equally true of all other regulators. Government of India has never made public the subject matter of those consultations. Only the final decisions taken are communicated. The Government, through these consultations, places its assessment on issues and suggests possible solutions. The Government will continue to do so.

Tags : Autonomy Central Bank Governance

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Press Information Bureau

31.10.2018

Commercial

Committee of Experts submits its report on Regulating audit firms and the Networks

MANU/PIBU/1490/2018

The Committee of Experts has submitted its report on Regulating audit firms and the Networks to the Government of India through the Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The Committee was constituted on April 20, 2018 pursuant to the directions of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the matter of S. Sukumar versus The Secretary, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. The Committee consisted of Shri Anurag Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Shri Sudhanshu Pandey, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce and Shri Ravinder, Joint Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.

The report addresses the issues raised by the Supreme Court with a focus to strengthen the legal regime of auditors and promote development of the audit profession in the country. The Committee scrutinised the networking arrangements adopted by the big four audit firms commonly referred as multi-national accounting firms to understand their legal structure and method of operation. The Committee also addressed serious concerns like conflict of interest and transparency arising out of non-audit services provided by auditors and their network, and suggested necessary checks and balances. Further, the report deals with the issue of concentration of market power which is another contemporary problem in the market for audit services.

The global trend indicates a clear shift from self-regulation to independent regulatory structure in the domain of audit regulation due to the failure of self-regulatory model in regulating the professionals. In light of these developments, the Committee found establishment of the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) as a necessary institutional reform which would align the Indian audit landscape with the global position. The Committee also recommended measures to further strengthen the operation of NFRA to address contemporary challenges in relation to auditors, audit firms and networks operating in India.

Since it is important to facilitate a business friendly environment for corporate and professionals in India, Indian laws and regulations on professional services needs to keep pace with changing market dynamics. Taking note of this requirement, the report delves into critical issues like advertising, multi-disciplinary practice firms and branding and suggested measures to rationalise the existing laws. These measures are expected to not only enhance the standards of services offered to corporates, but also facilitate the audit firms to expand in size and operation to compete globally.

For arriving at the findings and recommendations, the Committee adopted a holistic methodology which included internal meetings, engagement with relevant stakeholders, examining past reports discussed in the Supreme Court's judgment, global literature and best practices in the auditing landscape.

The Committee was ably supported by the research work of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.

Tags : Report Audit firms Regulations

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Press Information Bureau

31.10.2018

Motor Vehicles

Vehicle Location Tracking Devices and Emergency Buttons Mandatory for all New Public Service Vehicles Registered After 1st January 2019

MANU/PIBU/1489/2018

The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways vide notification dated 25.10.18, has mandated that all new public service vehicles except auto rickshaws and eRickshaws, registered on and after 1st January 2019, will have to be equipped with Vehicle Location Tracking (VLT) with emergency buttons. The VLT device manufacturers would assist in providing the back end services for monitoring. This regulation is being brought in to ensure safety of passengers especially women.

In case of older public service vehicles-those registered upto 31" December, 2018, the respective State/UT Governments will notify the date by which these vehicles have to install Vehicle Location Tracking Device and Panic Buttons. The Ministry has sent an advisory to the states in this regard.

The Ministry has also notified the operational procedure for implementation of VLT cum Emergency buttons. The State or Union Territories are required to ensure execution of this order and check fitment and functional status of the VLT device in the public service vehicles at the time of checking of the vehicles for fitness certification.

Command and Control Centres will be setup by the State or VLT manufacturers or any other agency authorised by the State Government, and these centres will provide interface to various stakeholders such as state emergency response centre, the transport department or Regional Transport Offices, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and its designated agencies, device manufacturers and their authorised dealers, testing agencies, permit holders, etc. These centres will also provide feed to the VAHAN data base or the relevant data base of the State with regard to the over speeding, device health status.

The details of each VLT device will be uploaded on the VAHAN database by the VLT device manufacturer using its secured authenticated access. The VLT device manufacturers or their authorised dealers will install the VLT devices in public service vehicles and register the devices along with details of vehicle on the corresponding backend systems in real-time.

The public service vehicle owners have to ensure that the VLT devices installed in their vehicles are in working condition and regularly send required data to the corresponding backend system through cellular connectivity.

VLT device manufacturers will get their devices tested for conformity of production every year after the first certification, from the testing agencies referred to in rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.

The testing agencies will upload the details of the VLT devices certified by the month eVAHAN database. They will also update the status relating to the Conformity of Production on the VAHAN database.

The State or Union Territories will publish Internet Protocol address (IP address) and Short Message Service Gateway (SMS gateway) details of their respective emergency response system where VLT devices will send the emergency alerts on press of emergency button.

Tags : Vehicle Tracking Devices Mandatory

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Reserve Bank of India

29.10.2018

Banking

Payments Bank and Small Finance Banks- access to Call/Notice/Term Money Market

MANU/RMIC/0092/2018

1. A reference is invited to Master Direction No.2/2016-17, dated July 7, 2016 on Money Market Instruments. A reference is also invited to the Guidelines for Licensing of Payments Banks and Guidelines for Licensing of Small Finance Banks in the Private Sector, dated November 27, 2014.

2. It is clarified that Payments Banks and Small Finance Banks are eligible to participate in the Call/Notice/Term money market (hereafter referred to as Call money market) both as borrowers and lenders. Such eligibility is valid even prior to the completion of the process to get themselves included in the Second Schedule of Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.

3. The prudential limits and other guidelines on Call money market for Payments Banks and Small Finance Banks will be the same as those applicable to Scheduled Commercial Banks in terms of the Master Direction referred above.

4. These Directions have been issued by RBI in exercise of the powers conferred under section 45W of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 and of all the powers enabling it in this behalf.

5. These directions are applicable with immediate effect.

Tags : Payments Bank Small Finance Banks Access

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Press Information Bureau

29.10.2018

Direct Taxation

Draft Notification proposing Amendment of Rules 2C, 2CA and 11AA and for Nos. 10G, 56 and 56G of the Income-Tax Rules, 1962 placed in public domain for inputs from stakeholders and general public

MANU/PIBU/1484/2018

Currently, for grant of approval under sub-clauses (iv) and (v) of clause (23C) of Section 10 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (the Act), for exemption of income received by any person on behalf of any other fund or institution, any trust or institution, rule 2C of the Income-tax Rules, 1962 (the Rules) provide for filing of application manually in Form No. 56.

Similarly, for grant of approval under sub-clauses (vi) and (via) of clause (23C) of section 10 of the Act, for exemption of income received by any person on behalf of any university or other educational institution and any hospital or other institution, rule 2CA of the Rules provide for filing of application manually in Form No. 56D.

Further, rule 11AA of the Rules provide for filing of application manually in Form No. 10G for grant of approval under clause (vi) of sub-section (5) of section 80G for deduction in respect of donations to any other fund or any institution to which section 80G applies.

Keeping in view the focus of the Government on digital initiatives, as also the fact that the Department is continuously automating its processes, it is imperative that manual filing of these applications should be done away with so as to ensure not only faster processing of the same but also to reduce the interface between the Department and the applicant.

Further, there is also a need to rationalize the rules and forms to align with the requirements of the present times.

In view of the above, these rules and forms are proposed to be amended by way of substituting:-

(a) Rules 2C and 2CA with a New Rule 2C and Rule 11AA with new rule 11AA; and

(b) Form No. 56 and 56D with a new Form No. 56 and Form No. 10G with a new Form 10G.

The draft notification proposing the above amendments has been formulated and uploaded on the website of the Income-tax Department (www.incometaxindia.gov.in) for inputs from stakeholders and general public. The inputs on the draft rules may be sent electronically at the email address, ustpl1@nic.in, latest by November 12, 2018.

Tags : Draft Notification Amendment Income-Tax Rules

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