24 February 2020


Notifications & Circulars

Press Information Bureau

19.02.2020

Capital Market

Cabinet approves Updating European Union Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) MoU signed between SEBI and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), United Kingdom

MANU/PIBU/0442/2020

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal of Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to sign an updated Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) MoU signed between SEBI and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), UK, pursuant to UK's exit from the European Union on 31st January 2020.

Major impact

The UK exited the EU on 31st January 2020. FCA, UK had submitted to SEBI that no transitional measures would be available if the amended MoU is not signed before the date when the UK exits the European Union (Brexit), and requested SEBI to sign an updated MoU as early as possible. As such, the proposal is not expected or intended to have any effect on employment in India.

Background

In accordance with the requirement of establishing adequate supervisory cooperation arrangements between EU and non-EU authorities under the European Union Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), a bilateral MoU was signed by SEBI with securities regulators of 27 member States of EU / European Economic Area, including Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), United Kingdom on 28th July 2014. In the context of UK's proposed withdrawal from EU, FCA brought to the notice of SEBI that the existing MoU between SEBI and FCA relating to AIFMD, which is currently anchored on EU law, will no longer apply directly in the UK, and have therefore, suggested signing an updated MoU after amending the AIFMD MoU by suitably modifying it and substituting references to EU legislation with the relevant UK law.

Tags : AIFMD MOU Signing of

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Press Information Bureau

19.02.2020

Civil

Cabinet approves Constitution of 22nd Law Commission of India for a term of three years

MANU/PIBU/0443/2020

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has approved Twenty-second Law Commission of India for a period of three years from the date of publication of the Order of Constitution in the Official Gazette.

Benefits

The Government will have the benefit of recommendations from a specialised body on different aspects of law which are entrusted to the Commission for its study and recommendations, as per its terms of reference.

The Law Commission shall, on a reference made to it by the Central Government or suo-motu, undertake research in law and review of existing laws in India for making reforms therein and enacting new legislations. It shall also undertake studies and research for bringing reforms in the justice delivery systems for elimination of delay in procedures, speedy disposal of cases, reduction in cost of litigation etc.

The Law Commission of India shall, inter-alia,: -

identify laws which are no longer needed or relevant and can be immediately repealed;

examine the existing laws in the light of Directive Principles of State Policy and suggest ways of improvement and reform and also suggest such legislations as might be necessary to implement the Directive Principles and to attain the objectives set out in the Preamble of the Constitution;

consider and convey to the Government its views on any subject relating to law and judicial administration that may be specifically referred to it by the Government through Ministry of Law and Justice (Department of Legal Affairs);

Consider the requests for providing research to any foreign countries as may be referred to it by the Government through Ministry of Law and Justice (Department of Legal Affairs);

take all such measures as may be necessary to harness law and the legal process in the service of the poor;

revise the Central Acts of general importance so as to simplify them and remove anomalies, ambiguities and inequities;

Before finalizing its recommendations, the Commission will consult the nodal Ministry/ Department (s) and such other stakeholders as the Commission may deem necessary for the purpose.

Background

The Law Commission of India is a non-statutory body constituted by the Government of India from time to time. The Commission was originally constituted in 1955 and is re-constituted every three years. The tenure of twenty-first Law Commission of India was upto 31st August, 2018.

The various Law Commission have been able to make important contribution towards the progressive development and codification of Law of the country. The Law Commission has so far submitted 277 reports.

The 22nd Law Commission will be constituted for a period of three years from the date of publication of its Order in the Official Gazette. It will consist of: a full-time Chairperson; four full-time Members (including Member-Secretary), Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs as ex-officio Member; Secretary, Legislative Department as ex officio Member; and not more than five part-time Members.

Tags : 22nd Law Commission Constitution Approval

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Ministry of Finance 

19.02.2020

Goods and Services Tax

Schemes for Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) and Additional Ad-hoc Incentive for export of garments and made-ups

MANU/CUCR/0012/2020

1. Government had notified the scheme for Rebate of State Levies (RoSL) to mitigate the incidence of State VAT and other State taxes on export of garments and made-ups (falling under Chapters 61, 62 and 63 of AIR schedule of duty drawback).

As certain State and Central levies remained unrebated in the export of garments and made-ups, Ministry of Textiles (MoT) vide notification No. 14/26/2016-IT (Vol. II) dated 07.03.2019 notified the scheme, namely, Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) to rebate the incidence of various State as well as Central taxes/levies suffered on export of garments and made-ups. MoT has also notified the rates of rebate under RoSCTL scheme vide notification No. 14/26/2016-IT (Vol. II) dated 08.03.2019. Following the discontinuation of RoSL scheme and introduction of the RoSCTL scheme w.e.f. 07.03.2019, the Board had issued Circular No. 10/2019-Customs dated 12.03.2019 for guidance of field formations and the trade. In continuation of MoT's aforesaid notification dated 07.03.2019, MoT's Notification No 14/26/2016-IT(Vol. II)(Part II) dated 02.05.2019 elaborated on the nature of rebate, mechanism of issue of scrips, over-claim/claim based on mis-declaration and procedure for recovery under RoSCTL scheme.

Further, it is to inform that DGFT vide their Public Notice (PN) No. 58/2015-20 dated 29.01.2020 has withdrawn the benefit under Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) for items falling under Chapters 61, 62 and 63 w.e.f. 07.03.2019, i.e. the date of introduction of RoSCTL scheme.

Further, upon withdrawal of MEIS benefit for garments and made-ups (falling under Chapters 61, 62 and 63), with a view to compensate exporters affected under the RoSCTL scheme when compared with the benefit under erstwhile RoSL + MEIS, Government vide MoT's notification no. 14/26/2016-IT/Vol. II dated 14.01.2020 has notified the scheme for Additional Ad-hoc Incentive of upto 1% of FoB value to be given to such exports of garments and made-ups.

Under their said PN dated 29.01.2020, DGFT has revised paragraphs 4.95 and 4.96 of Handbook of Procedures (HBP) to provide for procedure to apply for incentive, recovery mechanism etc. under RoSCTL and Additional Ad-hoc Incentive schemes.

2. It may be noted that under the erstwhile RoSL scheme that was in operation till 06.03.2019, the rebate was provided in exporter's bank account based on budgetary allocation of MoT. However, under the RoSCTL and Additional Ad-hoc Incentive schemes, the rebate will be granted by DGFT in the form of electronic duty credit scrips similar to the scrips issued under MEIS. The benefit under the two schemes will be given in single electronic scrip to be utilised for payment of duties of Customs and Central Excise. The scrips issued under the schemes will be freely transferable. The procedure regarding use of electronic scrips was provided in Board's Circular No. 11/2019-Customs dated 09.04.2019. The benefit of RoSCTL scheme shall be available for export of garments and made-ups with Let Export Order (LEO) dates from 07.03.2019 to 31.03.2020, while for Additional Ad-hoc Incentive scheme, the benefit shall be available for exports with LEO dates from 07.03.2019 to 31.12.2019.

3. In pursuance of the above referred developments, it is informed that Government has notified the use of scrips for payment of specified duties of Customs under the RoSCTL and Additional Ad-hoc Incentive schemes vide Notification No. 13/2020-Customs dated 14.02.2020. Similarly, Notification No. 1/2020-Central Excise dated 14.02.2020 has been issued which provides for use of scrips for payment of duties of Central Excise for clearance of goods specified in the Fourth Schedule to the Central Excise Act, 1944. These notifications may be seen for further details. Systems Directorate in CBIC will also issue a suitable advisory in the matter.

4. Suitable Public Notice and Standing Order should be issued for guidance of the trade and officers. Any difficulty faced should be immediately brought to the notice of the Board.

Tags : Schemes Levy Rebate

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Reserve Bank of India

18.02.2020

Banking

Implementation of Section 51A of UAPA, 1967: Addition of one new entry to 1533 Democratic

MANU/RMIC/0019/2020

Please refer to Section 51 of Master Direction on Know Your Customer dated February 25, 2016 as amended on January 09, 2020, in terms of which "Regulated Entities (REs) shall ensure that in terms of Section 51A of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) (UAPA) Act, 1967, they do not have any account in the name of individuals/entities appearing in the lists of individuals and entities, suspected of having terrorist links, which are approved by and periodically circulated by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)." Further, in terms of Section 53 of the Master Direction, other UNSC Resolutions circulated by the Reserve Bank in respect of any other jurisdictions/entities from time to time shall also be taken note of by the REs.

In this regard, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has now forwarded a press release "SC/14101 (Note SCA/1/20 (07)" dated 6 February 2020 regarding addition of one entry [Cdi.036; SEKA BALUKU of Ugandan origin] to Sanctions List, issued by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). In view of the above, Regulated Entities (REs) are advised to ensure meticulous compliance with the aforementioned instruction pertaining to UAPA and ensure that they do not have any account in the name of individuals/entities appearing in the list.

Tags : Implementation Provision New entry Addition

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Ministry of Environment and Forests

18.02.2020

Environment

Central Government extend the validity of the notification issued vide number S.O. 345(E), dated the 17th January, 2019 for a further period of one year

MANU/ENVT/0025/2020

S.O.750(E).--WHEREAS, the Central Government in the erstwhile Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) and clause (v) of sub-section (2) of section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (29 of 1986), read with sub-rule (4) of rule 5 of the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986, the Central Government has published notification for expediting prior environmental clearances to the projects for manufacturing of bio-ethanol for the purpose of blending with the petrol under the Ethonol Blending Programme vide number S.O. 345(E), dated the 17th January, 2019 to remain in force for a period of one year from the date of publication of the notification;

AND WHEREAS, the Ministry is in the receipt of representations for extension of validity of the notification for one more year to encourage to increase the ethanol production;

Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) and clause (v) of sub-section (2) of section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (29 of 1986), read with sub-rule (4) of rule 5 of the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986, the Central Government, after having dispensed with the requirement of notice under clause (a) of sub-rule (3) of rule 5 of the said rules in public interest, for expediting production of Ethanol for its limited purpose of blending with petrol exclusively for its usage as bio-fuel, hereby extend the validity of the notification issued vide number S.O. 345(E), dated the 17th January, 2019 for a further period of one year from the date of publication of this notification in the Official Gazette.

Tags : Validity Notification Extension

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Press Information Bureau

17.02.2020

Civil

New World Bank Project to Improve Groundwater Management in Select States of India

MANU/PIBU/0411/2020

The Government of India and the World Bank today signed a $450 million loan agreement to support the national programme to arrest the country's depleting groundwater levels and strengthen groundwater institutions.

The World Bank-supported Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY) - National Groundwater Management Improvement Programme will be implemented in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh and cover 78 districts. These states span both the hard rock aquifers of peninsular India and the alluvial aquifers of the Indo-Gangetic plains. They were selected based on several criteria, including degree of groundwater exploitation and degradation, established legal and regulatory instruments, institutional readiness, and experience in implementing initiatives related to groundwater management.

The programme will, among others, enhance the recharge of aquifers and introduce water conservation practices; promote activities related to water harvesting, water management, and crop alignment; create an institutional structure for sustainable groundwater management; and equip communities and stakeholders to sustainably manage groundwater.

Shri Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance said that in India groundwater is an important source for rural and urban domestic water supplies and its depletion is a cause of concern. The Atal Bhujal Yojana intends to strengthen the institutional framework for participatory groundwater management and encourage behavioral changes at the community level for sustainable groundwater resource management. The use of cutting-edge technology, involving Artificial Intelligence and space technology will further help in better implementation of the programme.

The loan agreement was signed by Shri Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, on behalf of the Government of India and Mr. Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, India on behalf of the World Bank.

Mr. Junaid Ahmad said that groundwater is India's most crucial water reserve and managing this national resource is the need of the hour. This programme will contribute to rural livelihoods and in the context of climatic shifts, build resilience of the rural economy. But its impact will also be felt globally as it stands as one of the important programmes of groundwater management worldwide.

The last few decades saw an exponential growth in the exploitation of groundwater through the construction of millions of private wells. Between 1950 and 2010, the number of drilled tube wells increased from 1 million to nearly 30 million. This allowed the area irrigated by groundwater to increase from approximately 3 million ha to more than 35 million ha. Groundwater currently provides approximately 60 percent of irrigation water. Over 80 percent of the rural and urban domestic water supplies in India are served by groundwater making India the world's largest user of groundwater.

If the current trends persist, 60 percent of districts are likely to reach critical level of groundwater depletion within two decades, which in turn will render at least 25 percent of the agriculture production at risk. Climate change will likely exacerbate current pressures on groundwater resources.

The programme will introduce a bottom-up planning process for community-driven development of water budgets and Water Security Plans (WSPs). Water budgets will assess surface and groundwater conditions (both quantity and quality) and identify current and future needs. The WSP, on the other hand, will focus on improving groundwater quantity and incentivize selected states to implement the actions proposed. Such community-led management measures will make users aware of consumption patterns and pave the way for economic measures that reduce groundwater consumption.

"The Programme will support on-ground actions that are based on community ownership and judicious management of water resources. Reversing groundwater overexploitation and degradation is in the hands of the hundreds of millions of individuals and communities - they need the right incentives, information, support, and resources to move to a more sustainable development and management of groundwater resources," said Abedalrazq Khalil and Satya Priya, Senior Water Resources Management Specialists and World Bank's Task Team Leaders for the programme.

Crop management and diversification will be the other focus areas. Studies indicate that a one percent increase in the area irrigated with groundwater leads to a 2.2 percent increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Also, a one percent increase in irrigation efficiency will reduce GHG emissions by 20 percent. The programme will support adoption of micro-irrigation systems, including sprinkler and drip irrigation to increase productivity and support farmers to shift to low water-intensive crops.

To facilitate this process, the government will transfer a significant portion of the money (nearly 80 percent) to local governments, including districts and gram panchayats, as incentives for achieving targets in groundwater management. The remaining funds will be used for providing technical support for sustainable management of groundwater and strengthening institutional arrangements in the selected states. The $450 million loan, from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 6-year grace period, and a maturity of 18 years.

Tags : Project Signing Groundwater Management

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Press Information Bureau

17.02.2020

Goods and Services Tax

Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs starts capturing district-wise data or origin of export goods

MANU/PIBU/0420/2020

Keeping with the Hon'ble PM's objective of turning districts into export hubs, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has now started capturing district-wise data or origin of export goods. The idea was also recently echoed by the Hon'ble Finance Minister in her Budget speech. This additional information from the export declarations will provide a key statistical input to policy makers on the importance of each district for exports and will help in aligning the policies to enhance local capacity.

Additionally, the export declarations would now also capture declarations by exporters intending to avail India's Free and Preferential Trade Agreements (FTAs/PTAs) being exported to partner countries. This would provide critical data on the gains being made by Indian exporters under FTAs/PTAs and help the Government align India's foreign trade policy in nation's best interests.

Further, CBIC has now made it mandatory that every GST registered importer and exporter must declare their GSTIN on the import and export declarations. Not only will this help the taxpayers to claim the ITC Credit and IGST Refunds, it would also help in combatting frauds.

The above initiatives of the CBIC will help policy makers take data-driven decisions.

Tags : District-wise data Export goods

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