24 June 2019

Notifications & Circulars

Reserve Bank of India



RBI announces rate of interest on Floating Rate Bonds, 2020


The rate of interest on the Floating Rate Bonds, 2020 (FRB 2020) applicable for the half year June 21, 2019 to December 20, 2019 shall be 6.13% per annum. It may be recalled that the rate of interest on FRB, 2020 is set at the average (rounded off to two decimal places) of implicit yields at the cut-off prices, of the last three auctions of GoI 182 day Treasury Bills, held up to period preceding the coupon reset date, which is June 21, 2019. The implicit yields will be computed by reckoning 365 days in a year. The coupon rate has been fixed accordingly.

Tags : Interest rates Rate Bonds Announcement

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Press Information Bureau



NABCB secures international equivalence for personnel certification


The National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB), India's national accreditation body, secured international equivalence for its accreditation programme for personnel certification bodies in the annual meetings of the Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation in Singapore today. NABCB signed the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) of the Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC) for its accreditation programme based on international standard, ISO/IEC 17024. ISO/IEC 17024: Conformity assessment - General requirements for bodies operating certification of persons specifies criteria for the operation of a Personnel Certification Bodies (also known as a certification body for persons). The standard includes requirements for the development and maintenance of the certification schemes for persons upon which the certification is based.

With the above recognition, NABCB hopes to facilitate export of Indian services and skills into the world market by attesting that persons are certified following international standards by the certifying bodies.

Personnel Certification would support many professionals in India, especially those who do not have formal education or certificate programme. Any person carrying ISO/IEC 17024 certificate with NABCB logo will be recognized internationally. It can also be used by regulators for establishing confidence in certified personnel for different activities.

NABCB, a constituent Board of the Quality Council of India, an autonomous body attached to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, is responsible for accreditation of certification/inspection bodies as per applicable international standards under an international system of equivalence. This signifies that the accreditation of personnel certification bodies by NABCB is now accepted as equivalent at international level.

Accreditation reduces risk for business and its customers by assuring that accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) are competent to carry out the work they undertake within their scope of accreditation. Accreditation Bodies (ABs) that are members of APAC and the CABs they accredit are required to comply with appropriate international standards and the applicable APAC application documents for the consistent application of those standards. ABs that are signatories to the APAC Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MRA) are evaluated regularly by an appointed team of peers to provide confidence in the operation of their accreditation programmes. Accreditation has become an essential tool for getting acceptance of inspection, testing and certification done in India internationally and it is referenced in many bilateral Free Trade Agreements like the India - Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement in which NABCB accreditation is a requirement for certification of electrical/electronic and telecom products.

NABCB has currently accredited one certification body for Personnel Certification and has 4 applicants. This programme will help professionals to get certified based on their competence in any required field. NABCB is already supporting Ministry of AYUSH and has accredited a certification body for certification for Yoga professionals. This would promote Yoga certification scheme internationally.

Tags : Certification NABCB International equivalence

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Reserve Bank of India



Reserve Bank of India imposes monetary penalty on South Indian Bank Limited


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed, by order dated June 13, 2019, monetary penalty of Rs.1 million on South Indian Bank Limited (the bank) for non-compliance with directions issued by RBI on 'Guarantees and Co-acceptances'. The penalty has been imposed in exercise of powers vested in RBI under the provisions of Section 47A(1)(c) read with Section 46(4)(i) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, taking into account failure of the bank to adhere to the aforesaid directions issued by RBI.

This action is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers.


RBI had received references from a government department and a private party alleging non-payment of invoked Bank Guarantees by the bank. Examination in this regard revealed violation of RBI directions on 'Guarantees and Co-acceptances' and a Notice was issued to the bank advising it to show cause as to why penalty should not be imposed for non-compliance with the directions.

After considering the bank's reply, oral submissions made during the personal hearing and additional submission made by the bank after the personal hearing, RBI came to the conclusion that the aforesaid charge of non-compliance with RBI directions was substantiated and warranted imposition of monetary penalty.

Tags : Monetary penalty Imposition South Indian Bank Limited

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Press Information Bureau



EAC-PM releases a detailed analysis on robustness of India's GDP estimation methodology


The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister today released a detailed note titled 'GDP estimation in India- Perspectives and Facts'. The note can be accessed at http://eacpm.gov.in/reports-papers/eac-reports-papers/.

The note provides a clear rationale for India's switch to an improved GDP estimation methodology in January 2015. The new methodology that uses 2011-12 as the base year includes two major improvements, a) Incorporation of MCA21 database, and b) Incorporation of the Recommendations of System of National Accounts (SNA), 2008. This change was in line with other countries that have changed their methodologies in line with SNA 2008 and revised their respective GDP figures. On an average, real GDP estimates saw an increase of 0.7% among OECD countries.

As mentioned in EAC-PM's press release dated 12 June 2019, the note also provides a point-to-point rebuttal to a recently published paper titled 'India's GDP Mis-estimation: Likelihood, Magnitudes, Mechanisms, and Implications' by Dr. Arvind Subramanian. The primary contributors to the note, namely Bibek Debroy, Rathin Roy, Surjit Bhalla, Charan Singh and Arvind Virmani reject Dr. Subramanian's methodology, arguments and conclusions on the basis of academic merit and grasp of Indian realities. The note provides detailed evidence that indicates that Dr. Subramanian has cherry-picked a few indicators and performed a rather unconvincing regression analysis to prove his hypothesis that India's GDP was over-estimated post 2011-12. For instance, the note highlights the absurdity in Dr. Subramanian's paper that selectively ignores tax data based on the argument that the period post 2011-12 witnessed "major changes in direct and indirect taxes". Interestingly, Mr. Subramanian's analysis ends on 31st March 2017, while the only major tax change (GST) was introduced on 1st July 2017. In totality, the note highlights eight clear points with supportive facts and arguments that debunk Dr. Subramanian's paper in entirety.

The note concludes with the point that India's GDP estimation methodology is by no means a perfect exercise and the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation is working on multiple aspects to improve the accuracy of economic data. However, the direction and pace of improvement is commendable and as of today India's GDP estimation methodology is at par with its global standing as a responsible, transparent and well-managed economy. If anything, the weakness of Dr. Subramaniam's attempt to suggest that the growth numbers are over-estimated confirms that the estimation process is robust to spurious criticism. Going forward, Indian National Income Accounting is bound to change for good and an important step in accomplishing that will involve criticism from experts and academics. But the country's interests are not served by imparting sensationalism through negativity that questions the credibility of the system.

Tags : Analysis GDP estimation Methodology

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Press Information Bureau



Commerce Minister Holds Meeting With E-Commerce And Tech Companies


Union Minister of Commerce and Industry & Railways, Piyush Goyal, held an extensive consultation with tech industry and e-Commerce companies in New Delhi yesterday. E-Commerce and tech companies across all segments, who have businesses in India and foreign MNCs, participated in the interactive session with Commerce & Industry Minister, Secretary Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Secretary Department of Commerce, Secretary Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The meeting was held by Piyush Goyal in order to understand their concerns and take their suggestions towards building a robust data protection framework that will achieve the dual purpose of privacy and innovation and strengthen India's position as a global tech leader with focus on trust and innovation.

All the companies who were represented in this meeting put forth their concerns related to RBI data storage requirements and processing related guidelines issued by the RBI. Deputy Governor of RBI, B.P. Kanungo, assured the industry representatives that the Reserve Bank of India will look into this.

The e-Commerce industry representatives also put forth their concerns before the Commerce Minister about the e-Commerce draft policy which they felt was not adequately consultative. Commerce Minister assured the e-Commerce industry representatives that each and every concern of the industry will be addressed and for that the Minister requested e-Commerce representatives to send their concerns in writing to the DPIIT within 10 days.

Industry representatives also informed the Minister that the consultations for the Data Protection Bill by MeitY was satisfactory but as a lot of time had elapsed and the industry was not sure about the final shape of the Bill. Secretary MeitY, Ajay Prakash Sawhney, assured the e-Commerce companies that the Bill will reflect all the consultations that had taken place with the industry during the formulation of the Bill.

The principles of data protection and privacy were discussed at length in the meeting and industry representatives requested the Minister to ensure that the Bill will have more clarity around classification of data and the manner of cross border flow of data. Commerce Minister assured that MeitY will address this concern too.

E-Commerce and tech companies also informed Piyush Goyal that the data free flow discussed in the recent G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy was a positive development for India in principle and India must participate in the discussions on digital trade but issues of concern for the country must be taken up as and when they arise during the G20 discussions.

Commerce Minister said that MeitY and National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) may deal with the concerns of companies who build products in India and store their data in the country and the Bill must reflect this.

NASSCOM President, Debjani Ghosh, put forth before the Commerce Minister the necessity of harmony across all policies of all Ministries and RBI which deal with digital trade. She also said that this meeting is happening at an opportune time when India is emerging as a data powerhouse and innovative digital technology is bringing immense economic opportunities and disruptions and allowing Developing and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to leapfrog.

Commerce & Industry Minister said that this meeting will help the Ministries of Commerce and Industry, MeitY and RBI to work in synergy towards realizing the full use of digital technology together with trade and investment and also be mindful of our national needs priorities and sensitivities.

Apart from all the major e-Commerce and tech companies in India, the meeting was attended by Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Som Parkash, senior officers from Ministry of External Affairs, Department of Commerce & DPIIT. India's Ambassador to the WTO, J.S. Deepak and President and CEO of Mastercard, Ajaypal Singh Banga participated in the discussions via direct video link.

Tags : Meeting E-Commerce Tech Companies

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Election Commission of India



Bye-election for the seat of Smriti Zubin Irani in the Council of States, elected by the elected members of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Gujarat


WHEREAS, the seat of Smriti Zubin Irani in the Council of States, elected by the elected members of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Gujarat, has become vacant on 24.05.2019 by the reason of her election to the House of the People, before the expiration of her term of office which was up to and including 18.08.2023; and

WHEREAS, a bye-election is to be held for the purpose of filling the vacancy so caused;

NOW, THEREFORE, in pursuance of section 147, sub-section (1) of section 39 and section 56 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951), the Election Commission of India hereby-

(A) calls upon the elected members of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Gujarat to elect, before 09th July, 2019, and in accordance with the provisions of the said Act and of the rules and orders made thereunder, a person for the purpose of filling the said vacancy in the Council of States;

(B) appoints, with respect to the said election;

(a) the 25th June, 2019 (Tuesday), as the last date for making nominations;

(b) the 26th June, 2019 (Wednesday), as the date for the scrutiny of the nominations;

(c) the 28th June, 2019 (Friday), as the last date for the withdrawal of candidatures;

(d) the 05th July, 2019 (Friday), as the date on which a poll shall, if necessary, be taken; and

(e) the 09th July, 2019 (Tuesday), as the date before which the election shall be completed; and

(C) fixes the hours from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., as the hours during which the poll shall, if necessary, be taken on the date specified above for the election.

Tags : Bye-election Seat Vacant

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Ministry of Finance 



IGST refunds-mechanism to verify the IGST payments for goods exported out of India in certain cases


The procedure for claiming IGST refunds is fully automated as provided under Instruction 15/2017-Cus dated 09.10.2017. It has come to the notice of the Board that instances of availment of IGST refund using fraudulent ITC claims by some exporters have been observed by various authorities. Exporters have availed ITC on the basis of ineligible documents or fraudulently and utilized that credit for payment of IGST on goods exported out of India. It has also been observed in several cases that there is huge variation between the FOB value declared in the Shipping Bill and the Taxable value declared in GST Return apparently to effect higher IGST pay out leading to encashment of credit.

2. In view of above, it has been decided to verify the IGST payments through the respective GST field formations. The procedure specified in the instruction 15/2017-Cus dated 09.10.2017 stand modified to the extent as under:

A. Identification of Suspicious cases: DG (Systems) shall work out the suitable criteria to identify risky exporters at the national level and forward the list of said risky exporters to Risk Management Centre for Customs (RMCC) and respective Chief Commissioners of Central Tax. DG (Systems) shall inform the respective Chief Commissioner of Central Tax about the past IGST refunds granted to such risky exporters (along with details of bank accounts in which such refund has been disbursed).

B. Inserting Alert in the System: RMCC shall insert alerts for all such risky exporters and make 100% examination mandatory of export consignments relating to those risky exporters. Also, alert shall be placed to suspend IGST refunds in such cases.

C. Bill subject to no other violation of any of provision of the Customs Act, 1962 or other laws being observed, the consignment may be cleared as per the regular practice.

D. Suspension of IGST refunds: Notwithstanding the clearance of the export consignments as per para C above, such Shipping Bills shall be suspended for IGST refund by the Deputy or Assistant Commissioner of Customs dealing with refund at the port of export.

E. Verification by GST formations:

(i) Chief Commissioner of Central Tax shall get the verification of the IGST refund claims and other related aspects done in accordance with the Standard Operating procedure to be issued by the GST policy wing.

(ii) The GST formation shall furnish a report to the respective Chief Commissioner of Central Tax within 30 days specifying clearly whether the amount of IGST paid and claimed/sanctioned as refund was in accordance with the law or not.

(iii) Chief Commissioner of Central Tax shall compile and forward report of all cases to RMCC and concerned customs port of export within 5 working days thereafter.

F. Action to be taken by customs formations on receipt of verification report from GST formations:

(i) Cases where no malpractices have been reported on verification: On receipt of verification report from Chief Commissioner of Central Tax informing that the ITC availed by the exporter was in accordance with the GST Law and rules made thereunder, the Customs officer at the port of export shall proceed to process the IGST refund to the extent verified by the GST Authorities. The detailed advisory in this regard shall be issued by DG (Systems) for the benefit of customs officers handling refunds.

(ii) Cases where malpractices have been reported on verification: For cases where upon verification, it has been found that the exporter has availed ITC fraudulently or on the basis of ineligible documents and utilized the said ITC for payment of IGST claimed as refund, the customs officer will not process the refund claim.

3. Difficulties in this regard may be brought to the knowledge of the Board.

Tags : Refunds-mechanism Payments Verification

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