10 August 2020

Notifications & Circulars

Reserve Bank of India



Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) System for Digital Payments


1. This is with reference to the Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies dated August 6, 2020 wherein the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had announced introduction of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) system for resolving customer disputes and grievances pertaining to digital payments, using a system-driven and rule-based mechanism with zero or minimal manual intervention.

2. The Payment System Vision-2021 of Reserve Bank highlights the need for technology-driven, rule-based, customer-friendly and transparent dispute redressal systems. As a step in this direction, authorised Payment System Operators (PSOs) - banks and non-banks - and their participants are hereby advised to put in place system/s for ODR for resolving disputes and grievances of customers.

3. To begin with, authorised PSOs shall be required to implement an ODR system for disputes and grievances related to failed transactions in their respective payment systems by January 1, 2021. The PSOs shall provide access to such a system to its participating members i.e., Payment System Participants (PSPs). Any entity setting up a payment system in India thereafter or participating therein, shall make available the ODR system at the commencement of its operations. The minimum requirements of the ODR system are specified in Annex.

4. Based on experience gained, ODR arrangement would later be extended to cover disputes and grievances other than those related to failed transactions. Please note that if the grievance remains unresolved up to one month, the customer may approach the respective ombudsman.

5. This directive is issued under Section 10 (2) read with Section 18 of Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (Act 51 of 2007).

Tags : ODR Digital Payments Introduction

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Reserve Bank of India



Loans against Gold Ornaments and Jewellery for Non-Agricultural End-uses


1. This is with reference to the circulars DBOD.No.BP.BC.27/21.04.048/2014-15 July 22, 2014 and DBR.RRB.BC.No.53/31.01.001/2016-17 dated February 16, 2017. Under the extant guidelines, loans sanctioned by banks against pledge of gold ornaments and jewellery should not exceed 75 per cent of the value of gold ornaments and jewellery.

2. With a view to further mitigate the economic impact of the Covid19 pandemic on households, entrepreneurs and small businesses, it has been decided to increase the permissible loan to value ratio (LTV) for loans against pledge of gold ornaments and jewellery for non-agricultural purposes from 75 per cent to 90 per cent. This enhanced LTV ratio will be applicable up to March 31, 2021 to enable the borrowers to tide over their temporary liquidity mismatches on account of COVID 19. Accordingly, fresh gold loans sanctioned on and after April 1, 2021 shall attract LTV ratio of 75 per cent.

3. Other terms and conditions of the above-mentioned circulars shall remain applicable.

Tags : Loans Gold Ornaments Non-Agricultural End-uses

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Securities and Exchange Board of India


Capital Market

Administration and Supervision of Investment Advisers


1. SEBI, vide Circular SEBI/HO/MRD/DSA/CIR/P/2016/113 dated October 19, 2016, allowed registered Investment Advisers (IAs) to use infrastructure of the stock exchanges to purchase and redeem MF units directly from Asset Management Companies on behalf of their clients.

2. As per Regulation 14 of the SEBI (Investment Advisers) Regulations 2013 (hereinafter referred to as "IA Regulations"), SEBI can recognize any body/body corporate for the purpose of regulating IAs. It further provides that SEBI may, at the time of recognition of such body or body corporate, delegate administration and supervision of IAs to such body or body corporate on such terms and conditions as may be specified.

3. Further, the second proviso to Regulation 38 (2) of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) (Stock Exchanges and Clearing Corporations) Regulations, 2018 states, inter alia, that a recognized stock exchange may engage in activities, whether involving deployment of funds or otherwise that are unrelated or not incidental to its activity as a stock exchange, through a separate legal entity and subject to approval of the Board.

4. Considering the growing number of registered investment advisers and the above mentioned provisions, it is decided to recognize a wholly-owned subsidiary of the stock exchange (stock exchange subsidiary) to administer and supervise IAs registered with SEBI.

A. Criteria for grant of recognition- The recognition of stock exchange subsidiary, in terms of the aforesaid Regulation 14, shall be based on the eligibility of the parent entity, i.e. the stock exchange, for which the following eligibility criteria is laid down:

i. Number of years of existence: Minimum 15 years

ii. Stock exchanges having a minimum networth of INR 200 crores

iii. Stock exchanges having nation-wide terminals

iv. Investor grievance redressal mechanism including Arbitration

v. Capacity for investor service management gauged through reach of Investor Service Centers (ISCs)- Stock exchanges having ISCs in at least 20 cities

B. Setting up of requisite systems by stock exchanges for the purpose-

i. The stock exchange shall either form a subsidiary or designate an existing subsidiary for the purpose of regulating IAs.

ii. The subsidiary shall include in its MoA, AoA and bye-laws, requisite provisions to fulfil the below mentioned responsibilities.

iii. The subsidiary shall put in place systems/process for grievance redressal, administrative action against IAs, governing IAs, maintaining data, sharing of information with SEBI etc.

iv. The subsidiary shall have the necessary infrastructure like adequate office space, equipment and manpower to effectively discharge the below mentioned activities. Infrastructure may be shared with other group entities where required.

C. Responsibilities of subsidiary of a stock exchange- The subsidiary of a stock exchange shall have following responsibilities:

i. Supervision of IAs including both on-site and offsite

ii. Grievance redressal of clients and IAs

iii. Administrative action including issuing warning and referring to SEBI for enforcement action

iv. Monitoring activities of IAs by obtaining periodical reports

v. Submission of periodical reports to SEBI

vi. Maintenance of database of IAs

5. The stock exchanges, fulfilling the criteria stated at para 4 (A) above, may submit the detailed proposal incorporating requisite systems stated at para 4 (B) and mechanism to discharge responsibilities, to SEBI within 30 days from the date of this circular.

6. This circular is issued in exercise of powers conferred under Section 11(1) of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 read with Regulation 14(2) of IA Regulations to protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote the development of, and to regulate the securities market.

Tags : Administration Investment Advisers

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Ministry of Commerce and Industry



Extension of date for filing online applications for export quota of August 2020 for PPE medical coverall for Covid-19


1. Reference is invited to the Trade Notice No. 18/2020-21 dated 20.07.2020 in which it was mentioned that applications for medical coveralls for Covid-19 for August onwards filed from 1st to 3rd day of each month will be considered for the quota of that month.

2. Due to technical/server issues, the ECOM facility for online application on the DGFT website was not available from 7.00 PM on 02.08.2020 to 4.00 PM on 05.08.2020. In view of the unavailability of application filling facility during the timeline specified in the Trade Notice 18 dated 20.07.2020, the time for filing online applications for PPE medical coveralls for COVID-19 quota for the month of August, 2020 has been extended till 08.08.2020.

3. All other details specified in the Trade Notice No. 18 dated 20.07.2020 remains unchanged.

4. This issues with the approval of competent authority.

Tags : Extension Date Export quota

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Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology



Aadhaar Authentication for Good Governance (Social Welfare, Innovation, Knowledge) Rules, 2020


In exercise of the powers conferred by sub - section (1) of section 53 read with clause (aa) of sub-section (2) of section 53 of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 (18 of 2016), the Central Government, in consultation with Unique Identification Authority of India, hereby makes the following rules, namely:-

1. Short title and commencement.-

(1) These rules may be called the Aadhaar Authentication for Good Governance (Social Welfare, Innovation, Knowledge) Rules, 2020.

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

2. Definitions.-

In these rules, unless the context otherwise requires,--

(a) "Act" means the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 (18 of 2016);

(b) "Authority" means the Unique Identification Authority of India established under sub-section (1) of section 11 of the Act;

(c) Words and expressions used and not defined in these rules shall have the same meaning assigned to them in the Act or in the Information Technology Act, 2000 (21 of 2000).

3. Purposes for Aadhaar authentication.-

(1) The Central Government may allow Aadhaar authentication by requesting entities in the interest of good governance, preventing leakage of public funds, promoting ease of living of residents and enabling better access to services for them, for the following purposes, namely:-

(a) usage of digital platforms to ensure good governance;

(b) prevention of dissipation of social welfare benefits; and

(c) enablement of innovation and the spread of knowledge.

(2) Aadhaar authentication under sub-rule (1) shall be on a voluntary basis.

4. Preparation of proposal.-

The Ministry or the Department of the Government of India or the State Government, as the case may be, desirous of utilising Aadhaar authentication for a purpose specified in rule 3 shall prepare a proposal with justification in regard to such purpose for which Aadhaar authentication is sought and submit the same to the Central Government for making a reference to the Authority.

5. Examination of proposal.-

On receipt of the proposal under rule 4, if the Authority is satisfied that the proposal is in accordance with the purposes mentioned in rule 3 and the provisions of the Act, it shall inform the Central Government that the requesting entity may be allowed to perform Aadhaar authentication and thereafter, the Ministry or the Department of the Government of India or the State Government, as the case may be, may be authorised by the Central Government to notify the same accordingly.

Tags : Aadhaar Authentication Rules 2020 Publication

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Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority



Dispensing with physical signature on proposal forms


1. The Authority is in receipt of feedback from various life insurers that the situation arising in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak has impacted the traditional manner of canvassing life insurance policies by agents and intermediaries. In particular, the filling-in of the physical proposal forms, obtaining wet signatures on them and subsequent movement of such physical papers, etc., are severely affected. In this backdrop, the life insurers have represented to the Authority to allow the option of authenticating the proposals for life insurance through electronic means, in place of physical signature, for the sales made by insurance agents and intermediaries, in addition to the methods presently allowed.

After examining the suggestions received from life insurers, the Competent Authority issues the following instructions under Regulation 18, read together with Regulation 8 (1), of IRDAI (Protection of Policyholders' Interests) Regulations, 2017:

1. Life Insurers are allowed to obtain the customer's consent without requiring wet signature on the hard copy of the proposal form, for the business solicited by insurance agents/intermediaries subject to following:

a. The completed proposal form shall be sent to the prospect on his/her registered e-mail ID or mobile number in the form of an e-mail or a message with a link as the case may be.

b. The prospect, if he/she wishes to consent to the proposal, may do so by clicking the confirmation link or by validating the OTP shared. The Insurer shall maintain verifiable, legally valid evidence for the proposer's consent received for the fully completed proposal form. Further, the insurer shall not accept any payment of moneys towards proposal deposit till the receipt of consent of the proposer.

c. In all such cases, the agent/intermediary shall confirm that only the approved sales material has been used during the solicitation process. They shall also certify the authenticity of the e-mail ID and/or mobile number of the prospect.

2. The Insurers shall be responsible for:

a. Providing to the insurance agents/intermediaries approved digital sales material and ensuring that only such material is used while soliciting the business;

b. Authenticating the e-mail IDs/mobile numbers of the prospects by conducting de-duplication of such data and other such means;

c. Ensuring the suitability of the product being purchased;

d. Carrying out pre-issuance verification calls in respect of all such proposals.

3. The above facilitation is allowed on an experimental basis with immediate effect till 31st December, 2020, and is limited to pure risk products, i.e., products that do not involve any savings element. Grievances pertaining to sales logged in through the above method shall be separately maintained by the Life Insurers and a monthly statement shall be submitted to the Authority in Annexure I. Further, the Authority reserves the right to revoke the above facilitation in respect of any individual Insurer or for all Insurers any time.

Tags : Dispensing of Physical signature Proposal forms

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Press Information Bureau



DCGI approves Phase II+III trials of Oxford University vaccine by Serum Institute, Pune


The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has given approval to Serum Institute of India, Pune to conduct Phase II+III clinical trials of Oxford University-Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine (COVISHIELD) in India. This will hasten the development of the COVID-19 vaccine.

India continues to improve the Case Fatality Rate (CFR), and maintain its global position of having one of the lowest COVID fatalities rates. With a further fall, the current CFR touched 2.11% today. This is the outcome of the well conceived and effectively implemented strategy of "Test, Track and Treat" which has guided the COVID management in the country.

The management strategy of COVID-19 also focuses on early detection and isolation of cases with seamless patient management and prioritising care of the high-risk population using field health care workers leading to increase in recoveries across the country. India has seen more than 40,574 patients recovered in the last 24 hours. This takes the total recoveries to 11,86,203 and Recovery Rate to 65.77% amongst COVID-19 patients.

With improving daily recovery number, the gap between the recovered cases & the active cases has increased to more than 6 lakh. Presently, it is 6,06,846. This means the actual active case load is 5,79,357 and all are under medical supervision.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued Revised Guidelines for International Arrivals in supersession of the Guidelines issued on the subject dated 24th May 2020. They will be operational from 00.01 Hrs, 8th August 2020.

Tags : Approval Vaccine Serum Institute

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Ministry of Corporate Affairs



Clarification on dispatch of notice under Section 62(2) of Companies Act, 2013 by listed companies for rights issues opening upto 31st December, 2020


Reference is drawn to this Ministry's General Circular Number 21/2020 dated 11th May, 2020 regarding clarification on dispatch of notice under section 62(2) of Companies Act, 2013 by listed companies for rights issue opening upto 31st July, 2020. Representations have been received for extending the validity of such clarification. The Circular (Number SEBI/HO/CFD/DIL1/CIR/P/2020/136) issued by SEBI on 24th July, 2020 has also been considered. In view of this, it has been decided that clarification given under para 2 of General Circular 21/2020 dated 11th May, 2020, would continue to be applicable for rights issues, in case of listed companies, opening upto 31st December, 2020. Accordingly, in case of listed companies, which comply with relevant circulars issued by SEBI, inability to dispatch the relevant notice to shareholders through registered post or speed post or courier would not be viewed as violation of section 62(2) of the Act for rights issues opening upto 31st December, 2020. Other requirement provided in the said General Circular remain unchanged.

Tags : Clarification Dispatch of notice

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