26 May 2020


Notifications & Circulars

Press Information Bureau

19.05.2020

Service

Lower rate of EPF subscription 10% with EPFO notified placing higher liquidity in the hands of employees and employers during COVID-19 pandemic

MANU/PIBU/1340/2020

Government Sector, their PSEs and establishment whose subscription is being borne by Union Government under PMGKY continue to have subscription at old rates of 12%. Lower rates to be applicable for salary months of May, June and July 2020.

Various measures have been announced from time to time to provide relief to the employers and employees of the establishments covered under the EPF & MP Act, 1952 distressed by Lockdown to prevent spread of COVID-19 and other disruptions due to Pandemic.

The reduction in statutory rate of contributions from 12% to 10% for wage months May, 2020, June, 2020 and July, 2020 for all class of establishments covered under the EPF & MP Act, 1952 announced on 13.05.2020 by the Central Govt. as part of Atma-Nirbhar Bharat package has been notified vide SO 1513 (E) dated 18.05.2020 published in the Gazette of India. The notification is available under the TAB- COVID-19 on the home page of EPFO website.

The above reduction of rate of contribution is not applicable to establishments like Central and State Public Sector enterprises or any other establishment owned or controlled by or under control of the Central Govt. or State Govt. These establishments shall continue to contribute 12% of basic wages and dearness allowances.

The reduced rate is also not applicable for PMGKY beneficiaries, since the entire employees EPF contributions (12% of wages) and employers' EPF & EPS contribution (12% of wages), totaling 24% of the monthly wages is being contributed by the Central Govt. Reduction in rate of EPF contributions from 12% to 10% of basic wages and Dearness allowances is intended to benefit both 4.3 Crore employees/members and employers of 6.5 lakhs establishments to tide over the immediate liquidity crisis to some extent.

As a result of reduction in statutory rate of contributions from 12% to 10%, the employee shall have a higher take home pay due to reduction in deduction from his pay on account of EPF contributions and employer shall also have his liability reduced by 2% of wages of his employees. If Rs.10000/- is monthly EPF wages, only Rs.1000/- instead of Rs.1200/- is deducted from employee's wages and employer pays Rs.1000/- instead of Rs.1200/- towards EPF contributions.

In Cost to Company (CTC) model, if Rs.10000/- is monthly EPF wages, in CTC Model the employee gets Rs.200/- more directly from employer as employer's EPF/EPS contribution is reduced and Rs.200/- less is deducted from his/her wages. Under the EPF Scheme, 1952 any member has the option to contribute at a rate higher than statutory rate (10%) and employer can restrict his contributions 10% (statutory rate) in respect of such employee.

Tags : EPF subscription Rates Liquidity

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Reserve Bank of India

18.05.2020

Banking

Risk Management and Inter-bank Dealings - Hedging of Foreign Exchange Risk-Date of Implementation

MANU/APDR/0019/2020

1. A reference is invited to the Directions on Hedging of Foreign Exchange Risk issued vide A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 29 dated April 7, 2020. The Directions were to come into effect from June 1, 2020.

2. Based on the requests received from market participants and in the context of the difficulties arising from the outbreak of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), it has been decided that the Directions will now come into effect from September 1, 2020.

3. Directions on the participation of Banks in Offshore Non-deliverable Rupee Derivative Markets issued vide A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 23 dated March 27, 2020 will come into effect from June 1, 2020, as hitherto.

4. The Directions contained in this circular have been issued under Sections 10(4) and 11(1) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (42 of 1999) and are without prejudice to permissions/approvals, if any, required under any other law.

Tags : Risk Management Inter-bank Dealings Directions

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Reserve Bank of India

18.05.2020

Banking

Reporting Platform for OTC Derivatives - Transactions undertaken by IFSC Banking Units (IBUs) and non-deliverable derivative contracts (involving Rupee or otherwise)

MANU/RMIC/0078/2020

1. In terms of A.P. (DIR Series) circular no.23 dated March 27, 2020, banks in India having an Authorised Dealer Category-1 license under FEMA, 1999, and operating IBUs have been permitted, with effect from June 1, 2020, to offer non-deliverable derivative contracts (NDDCs) involving the Rupee, or otherwise, to persons not resident in India. Banks can undertake such transactions through their IBUs or through their branches in India or through their foreign branches (in case of foreign banks operating in India, through any branch of the parent bank).

2. All foreign exchange non-deliverable derivative contracts (involving Rupee or otherwise) undertaken by banks in India through their IBUs or through their branches in India or through their foreign branches (in case of foreign banks operating in India, through any branch of the parent bank), shall be reported to CCIL's reporting platform with effect from June 1, 2020.

3. Further, in terms of circular no. DBR.IBD.BC.14570/23.13.004/2014-15 dated April 01, 2015, as amended from time to time, IBUs were permitted to undertake derivative transactions including structured products that the banks operating in India have been allowed to undertake as per the extant RBI directions. For undertaking any other derivative product, IBUs are required to obtain the prior approval of the RBI.

4. RBI has mandated that all OTC foreign exchange, interest rate and credit derivative transactions, both inter-bank and client, will be reported to CCIL's trade reporting platform. The matter has been further discussed with banks operating IBUs and CCIL. Accordingly, it has been decided that IBUs shall report all OTC foreign exchange, interest rate and credit derivative transactions - both interbank and client transactions - undertaken by them to CCIL's reporting platform with effect from June 1, 2020. Additionally, as a one-time measure to ensure completeness of data, all matured and outstanding transactions as on May 31, 2020, shall be reported by July 31, 2020.

5. The Clearing Corporation of India (CCIL) shall communicate the methodology of such reporting to its members.

6. These directions are issued under the powers vested in the Reserve Bank of India under Section 45W of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 and is without prejudice to permissions/approvals, if any, required under any other law.

Tags : OTC Derivatives Transactions IBUs

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Ministry of Commerce and Industry

18.05.2020

Civil

Air Conditioner and its related Parts, Hermetic Compressor and Temperature Sensing Controls (Quality Control) Amendment Order, 2020

MANU/COMM/0067/2020

In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-sections (1) and (2) of section 16 read with sub-section (3) of section 25 of the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016 (11 of 2016), the Central Government, after consulting the Bureau of Indian Standards, is of the opinion that it is necessary so to do in the public interest, hereby makes the following Order to amend the Air Conditioner and its related Parts, Hermetic Compressor and Temperature Sensing Controls (Quality Control) Order, 2019, namely:-

1. Short title and commencement.--

(1) This Order may be called the Air Conditioner and its related Parts, Hermetic Compressor and Temperature Sensing Controls (Quality Control) Amendment Order, 2020.

(2) It shall come into force on the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.

2. In the Air Conditioner and its related Parts, Hermetic Compressor and Temperature Sensing Controls (Quality Control) Order, 2019, in Paragraph 1, in sub-Paragraph (2), for the figures "01.06.2020", the following figures "01.01.2021" shall be substituted.

Tags : Amendment Order Air Conditioner Public interest

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Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

18.05.2020

Civil

Central Government, hereby issues notification for the purposes of making available suitable vaccines to meet the requirements of emergency arising due to COVID-19

MANU/HFAM/0033/2020

1.Whereas, the Central Government is satisfied that making available suitable vaccines is essential to meet the requirements of emergency arising due to pandemic COVID-19, and in public interest it is necessary and expedient to regulate the manufacture and stock for sale or distribution of vaccines for prevention and treatment of COVID-19 infection;

Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 26B of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 (23 of 1940), the Central Government, hereby issues the following notification, notwithstanding anything contained in the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 and New Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2019, for the purposes of making available suitable vaccines to meet the requirements of emergency arising due to COVID-19, namely:-

a) In case a person intends to manufacture and stock a vaccine for COVID-19, which is under clinical trial for marketing authorisation for sale or distribution, then, such person shall have obtained permission in Form CT-06 to conduct clinical trial of such vaccine and on successful completion of the clinical trial and after obtaining permission in Form CT-23 from the Central Licensing Authority under the New Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2019, he shall make an application under rule 75 or rule 75A of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, as the case may be, to the concerned Licensing Authority appointed by the State Government along with the permission obtained for conducting clinical trial in Form CT-06 under the New Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2019, for grant of license to manufacture and stock the vaccine for sale or distribution under the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 (23 of 1940)(herein after referred to as the said Act) and the rules made thereunder:

Provided that the requirement of prior permission from the Central Licensing Authority under rule 81 of the New Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2019 to manufacture the vaccine as required under rule 83 of the said rules shall be deferred in public interest to meet the emergent situation arisen out of COVID-19 and such person shall obtain the said permission after successful completion of the clinical trial and submission of application along with fees, data and particulars in accordance with the provisions of the New Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2019.

(b) The Central License Approving Authority may, if satisfied that requirements under the provisions of the said Act and the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 and the New Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2019 have been complied with, grant License in accordance with the provisions of rule 68A of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 to manufacture and stock the vaccine subject to the condition that the licensee shall sell or distribute the vaccine only after obtaining permission for such vaccine (new drug) in Form CT-23 from the Central Licensing Authority under the New Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2019.

2. In case of any inconsistency between this notification and any rule made under the said Act, the provisions of this notification shall prevail over such rule in public interest so as to meet the emergency which has arisen due to COVID-19 pandemic.

3. This order shall come into force on the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.

Tags : Notification Suitable vaccines Emergency COVID-19

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Press Information Bureau

18.05.2020

Civil

Lockdown 4.0 - States/UTs cannot dilute restrictions imposed in MHA guidelines; can only make them stricter based on local level assessment and Health Ministry Guidelines: MHA

MANU/PIBU/1323/2020

Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), on 17.05.2020, issued the revised guidelines regarding lockdown restrictions, to contain COVID-19. As the lockdown was extended up to 31.05.2020, widespread relaxations were given in the restrictions.

Under the new guidelines effective from today, States and UTs would now delineate the Red Orange and Green zones, taking into consideration the revised guidelines issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on 17.05.2020. Inside the red/orange zones, containment and buffer zones would be identified by the local authorities, based on local level technical inputs and Health Ministry guidelines.

Within containment zones, strict perimeter would be maintained as earlier and only essential activities would be allowed. Limited activities would continue to be prohibited throughout the country. All other activities would be permitted except the ones that are specifically prohibited under MHA guidelines.

In view of these points, MHA has reiterated to the States/UTs that despite widespread relaxations given in lockdown restrictions under revised guidelines, States/UTs cannot dilute the restrictions imposed in MHA guidelines. They may prohibit certain other activities or impose restrictions, as deemed necessary on the basis of ground level analysis of the situation.

Further, it has been communicated that States/UTs must take into consideration the benchmarks/thresholds indicated in the revised guidelines issued by MoHFW, while delineating zones at local level. It has also been urged to give wide publicity to the Centre and respective State guidelines at local level for the convenience of the public.

Tags : Assessment Restrictions MHA guidelines

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Ministry of Finance 

18.05.2020

Customs

Electronic Sealing-Deposit in and removal of goods from Customs Bonded Warehouses

MANU/CUCR/0024/2020

1. Circular-19/2018-Customs dated 18.06.2018 and Circular 10/2020-Customs dated 07.02.2020 provided for RFID sealing of goods to be deposited in or removed from Customs Bonded Warehouses. The implementation of these Circulars was deferred, vide Circulars No. 54/2018-Customs dated 31.12.2018 and 20/2020-Customs dated 21.04.2020.

2. In view of the representations received from stakeholders, Board has decided to review the modalities under the aforesaid circulars.

3. Accordingly, a comprehensive circular is under consideration and shall be soon placed in public domain (cbic.nic.in) to seek inputs/suggestions from all stakeholders before issuance.

4. In view of above, Circular-19/2018-Customs dated 18.06.2018 and Circular-10/2020-Customs dated 07.02.2020 issued previously in this matter and yet to be operationalized, stand rescinded.

Tags : Removal Goods Bonded Warehouses

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