30 November 2020

Notifications & Circulars

Press Information Bureau



Extension of Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme through ECLGS 2.0 for the 26 sectors identified by the Kamath Committee and the healthcare sector


The Government has extended Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) through ECLGS 2.0 for the 26 sectors identified by the Kamath Committee and the healthcare sector. Under ECLGS 2.0 entities with outstanding credit above Rs. 50 crore and not exceeding Rs. 500 crore as on 29.2.2020, which were less than or equal to 30 days past due as on 29.2.2020 are eligible. These entities/borrower accounts shall be eligible for additional funding up to 20 per cent (which could be fund based or non-fund based or both) of their total outstanding credit (fund based only) as a collateral free Guaranteed Emergency Credit Line (GECL), which would be fully guaranteed by National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Limited (NCGTC). The loans provided under ECLGS 2.0 will have a 5-year tenor, with a 12-month moratorium on repayment of principal.

In addition to ECLGS 2.0, where no annual turnover ceiling has been prescribed, it has also been decided to extend ECLGS 1.0 to entities under ECLGS which had a total credit outstanding (fund based only) of upto Rs.50 crore as on 29.02.2020, but were previously ineligible owing to their annual turnover exceeding Rs.250 crore. All other existing criteria/ terms and conditions remain unchanged.

The Scheme would be applicable to all loans sanctioned under ECLGS during the period from the date of issue of these guidelines by NCGTC to 31.03.2021 or till guarantees for an amount of Rs 3,00,000 crore is sanctioned under the ECLGS (taking into account both ECLGS 1.0 and 2.0), whichever is earlier.

The modified Scheme while providing an incentive to Member Lending Institutions (MLIs) to enable availability of additional funding facility to the eligible borrowers, both MSMEs/business enterprises and identified sectors that supports MSMEs, will go a long way in contributing to economic revival, protecting jobs, and create conducive environment for employment generation.

NCGTC has issued the operational guidelines in this regard.

Tags : Extension ECLGS 2.0 Kamath Committee

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Press Information Bureau



Ministry of Ports, Shipping and waterways issues Draft Merchant Shipping Bill, 2020 for Public Consultation


Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has issued a draft of the Merchant Shipping Bill, 2020 for public consultation. It aims to repeal and replace the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (Act No. 44 of 1958) and the Coasting Vessels Act, 1838 (Act No. 19 of 1838).

The Merchant Shipping Bill, 2020 has been drafted, with the primary aim of promoting the growth of the Indian shipping industry by incorporating the best practices adopted by other advanced countries like the U.S., Japan, U.K., Singapore and Australia. All up-to-date IMO Conventions / protocols, to which India is a party, have been adopted in it. Adequate provisions are incorporated to ensure the safety and security of vessels, safety of life at sea, prevent marine pollution, provide for maritime liabilities and compensations, and ensure comprehensive adoption of India's obligations under International Conventions.

The envisioned advantages of the Merchant Shipping Bill, 2020 are following:

Promoting ease of doing business- The Bill does away with requirement of general trading license for Indian vessels

Embracing digital technology- It enables electronic means of registration, and grants statutory recognition to electronic agreements, records, and log books, in addition to electronic licenses, certificates and payments.

Increasing tonnage and Vessel as a Tradable Asset-The Bill seeks to increase India's tonnage by widening the eligibility criteria for ownership of vessels and providing for the registration of bareboat charter cum demise, thereby increasing opportunities for international trade.

India as a Bankable Shipping Jurisdiction & avoidance of situations leading to wreck -The proposed Bill seeks to introduce for the first-time statutory framework for regulating maritime emergency response against maritime incidents. The provisions seek to provide for time effective implementation of response mechanisms in order to ensure that the same is prevented from becoming a wreck or other catastrophic event.

Welfare of Indian seafarers on abandoned vessels and safety of abandoned vessels: Provisions for repatriation of abandoned seafarers have been enhanced, in line with the MLC regulations.

Strengthening adjudication and predictability of claims: In order to strengthen the investigation and adjudication of claims arising out of collision of vessels, assessors may be tasked by the High Courts to present their findings on the degrees of fault of each vessel.

India as an Active Enforcement Jurisdiction- The Bill incorporates powers of the Director-General to take action against vessels that are unsafe, and pose a threat to safety of life at sea and environment, and includes a procedure for appeal from detention orders. The Bill also incorporates provisions that encourage active enforcement of pollution prevention standards and the Central Government has been granted the power to mandate compulsory insurance or such other financial security, for pollution damage.

The Bill seeks to provide increased opportunities for investment and provide greater impetus to a self-reliant domestic investment climate in the maritime industry. The provisions regulating the maritime education, training, certification and the recruitment and placement of seafarers and ease of registration of ships under the Indian flag will give an impetus to the quality and quantity of Indian seafarers. Consequently, it will boost employment opportunities for Indian seafarers in the national and international market. The benefits will be extended to ancillary sectors connected with the shipping industry in consonance with 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' initiatives of the government.

It has been a priority of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi's government to replace all archaic colonial laws with modern and contemporary International laws with active participation of people to enhance transparency in the governance. For the same, Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways recently issued two draft Bills for public consultation, namely 'Aids to Navigation Bill 2020' and 'Coastal Shipping Bill 2020' and now this historical 'Draft Merchant Shipping Bill 2020' is being issued, within a short span of time of four months. Moreover, Major Port Authorities Bill 2020 is also under consideration of Rajya Sabha, which has been already passed by Lok Sabha in the last Parliament session. All these Bills are going to generate sweeping waves in the maritime scenario moving India towards a fully developed maritime economy.

Tags : Issuance draft bill Public Consultation

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Ministry of Finance 



Amendment in notification No. 50/2017- Customs, dated the 30th June, 2017


In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 25 of the Customs Act, 1962 (52 of 1962) and sub-section (12) of section 3 of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 (51 of 1975), the Central Government, on being satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do, hereby makes the following further amendment in the notification of the Government of India, in the Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue), No. 50/2017- Customs, dated the 30th June, 2017, published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, Section 3, Sub-section (i), vide number G.S.R. 785(E), dated the 30th June, 2017, namely:-

In the said notification, in the Table, against S. No. 57, for the entry in column (4), the entry "27.5%" shall be substituted.

2. This notification shall come into force with effect from the 27th day of November, 2020.

Tags : Amendment Notification Public interest

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Press Information Bureau



India and Finland sign MOU for developing cooperation in the field of environmental protection and biodiversity conservation


India and Finland today signed a MOU for developing cooperation between two countries in the field of Environment protection and biodiversity conservation.

The MoU is a platform to further advance Indian and Finnish partnership and support, exchange best practices in areas like prevention of Air and water pollution; Waste management; Promotion of circular economy, low-carbon solutions and sustainable management of natural resources including forests; Climate change; Conservation of Marine and Coastal Resources; etc.

The MoU was signed virtually by Shri Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change from the Indian side and Ms Krista Mikkonen, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Government of Finland from the Finnish side.

Speaking at the event Shri Javadekar said that the MoU also provides the possibility to have joint projects in areas of mutual interest. "This MOU will definitely commits us to work together more closely towards on the fulfilment of commitments made under Paris Agreement.", said the Environment Minister.

Shri Javadekar also informed that India has achieved its voluntary target of reducing emissions intensity of its GDP by 21% over 2005 levels, by 2020 and is poised to achieve 35% reduction well before the target year of 2030.

As part of its Nationally Determined Contributions submitted under the Paris Agreement , India has taken three quantitative climate change goals viz. reduction in the emissions intensity of Gross Domestic Product by 33 to 35 percent by 2030 from 2005 level, achieving about 40 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030 and creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.

The MoU will strengthen technological, scientific and management capabilities and develop bilateral cooperation in the field of environmental protection and biodiversity conservation on the basis of equality, reciprocity and mutual benefit with due respect to promotion of sustainable development.

Tags : MOU Signing of Environmental protection

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Reserve Bank of India



Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd branches to operate as DBS Bank India Ltd. branches from November 27, 2020


The Government of India has today sanctioned the Scheme for the amalgamation of the Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd. with DBS Bank India Ltd. The amalgamation will come into force on the Appointed date i.e. November 27, 2020. All the branches of the Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd. will function as branches of DBS Bank India Ltd. with effect from this date.

Customers, including depositors of the Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd. will be able to operate their accounts as customers of DBS Bank India Ltd. with effect from November 27, 2020. Consequently the moratorium on the Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd. will cease to be operative from that date. DBS Bank India Ltd. is making necessary arrangements to ensure that service, as usual, is provided to the customers of the Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd.

Tags : Lakshmi Vilas Bank Scheme Amalgamation

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Securities and Exchange Board of India


Capital Market

SEBI Chairman launches Securities Market Trainers (SMARTs) Program - a new SEBI initiative for enhancing Investor Education activities


Shri Ajay Tyagi, Chairman, SEBI launched the Securities Market Trainers (SMARTs) progamme in Mumbai today. The SMARTs programme is a new initiative of SEBI for enhancing the Investor Education activities. Shri G. Mahalingam, Whole Time Member, Executive Directors and other officials of SEBI attended the launch function. The individuals who have been empanelled under the SMARTs program attended the launch via web conferencing.

Complimenting the trainers who have been empanelled as SMARTs, Shri Tyagi highlighted the need of hand holding the retail investors since there has been a surge of new investors in the securities markets in the last few months. He recounted SEBI's efforts towards financial education through SEBI empanelled Resource Persons and investor education in association with Exchanges, Depositories and SEBI recognized Investors Associations.

"In the present scenario of uncertainty in economic growth and extra ordinarily buoyant market, there is a dire need to further ramp up the investor education and awareness efforts. In that sense there couldn't have been any better time to launch SMARTs - an initiative of SEBI to strengthen the existing investor education framework", Shri Tyagi said.

Chairman also raised the concern relating to convoluted distribution of active investors throughout the country and said that SMARTs program would aim to address this concern by increasing investor outreach in far flung areas. He exhorted SMARTs to keep abreast of developments in the securities market and also expressed his confidence that SMARTs would take investor education to all parts of the country. "It is noteworthy that SMARTs programme has been launched when World Investor Week is being celebrated across the country", he added.

SMARTs is a new initiative of SEBI to enhance its investor education and awareness activities. The First batch of SMARTs empaneled by SEBI includes 40 individuals across 16 States and Union Territories covering 31 Districts on a Pan-India basis, who have also undergone four days training in National Institute of Securities Market (NISM). The SMARTs will conduct investor education programmes in their respective geographical areas. Though SEBI has been conducting investor awareness programme in association with stock exchanges, depositories, etc. the SMARTs program is unique.

Under the SMARTs program, the trainers are empanelled for the district they belong to, subject to fulfilling the required eligibility criteria. In addition to individuals, organizations engaged in similar activity can also get enrolled as SMARTs. They undergo training in NISM and then they are eligible to conduct programmes. The programmes are conducted under the aegis of SEBI and are monitored by SEBI directly. These programmes will also be conducted in the local language. SMARTs programme is, therefore, likely to be a game changer as investor education programmes are taken directly to the investors. The education programs to be conducted by SMARTs will be free of cost to investors, while the cost of conducting the programme would be met from SEBI's Investor Protection and Education Fund.

SEBI will be empanelling more trainers pan India level under the SMARTs programme.

Tags : SMARTs Program Investor Education activities

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Securities and Exchange Board of India


Capital Market

Testing of software used in or related to Trading and Risk Management


1. SEBI vide Circulars CIR/MRD/DP/24/2013 dated August 19, 2013 and CIR/MRD/DP/06/2014 February 7, 2014 came out with guidelines on 'Testing of software used in or related to Trading and Risk management'. Subsequent to the above, SEBI has received various suggestions/ representation from stakeholders seeking relaxation from the requirement of software testing, prescribed in the aforementioned circulars.

2. After due examination and consultation with stakeholders, it has been decided that requirement of mandatory mock trading sessions to facilitate testing of new software or existing software that has undergone any change of functionality shall be optional if a Stock Exchange provides suitable simulated test environment to test new software or existing software that has undergone any change of functionality and ensures the following:

i) The test environment shall be made available to all the members.

ii) The test environment shall be made available for at least two hours after market hours and at least on two trading days in a week.

iii) For the purpose of testing, Stock Exchange shall make available data from at least one trading day in all segments and the same shall not be older than one month from the day of the testing environment.

iv) All trading members (excluding those who use only Exchange provided front end and/or ASP services) having approved Algorithms available with the member, irrespective of the algorithm having undergone change or not, shall participate in the Simulated Environment at least on one trading day during each calendar month at all the exchanges where they are members. This shall be audited and reported in the System Auditors report.

v) Exchange shall provide a daily log, including Algos used, of members participation in Simulated Environment to all participating members. The Exchange shall provide summary report of such activity to SEBI in the monthly development report (MDR).

3. Other conditions prescribed in SEBI Circulars dated August 19, 2013 and February 07, 2014 shall remain unchanged.

4. Stock exchanges are directed to:

4.1. take necessary steps and put in place necessary systems for implementation of the above.

4.2. make necessary amendments to the relevant bye-laws, rules and regulations for the implementation of the above decision.

4.3. bring the provisions of this circular to the notice of the stock brokers/ trading members of the stock exchanges and also disseminate the same on its websites.

5. This circular is being issued in exercise of powers conferred under Section 11 (1) of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992, to protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote the development of, and to regulate the securities market.

Tags : Testing Software Risk Management

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Telecom Regulatory Authority of India


Media and Communication

Consumer Outreach Program by TRAI through online mode


1. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), through its Regional Office Bengaluru, conducted online Consumer Outreach Program on 20th Nov 2020 (Friday) for the telecom and broadcasting consumers of Karnataka.

2. One of the important objectives of TRAI is to safeguard consumer interests and create consumer awareness. Towards this objective, TRAI organizes consumer outreach programs in different parts of the country. In the current situation of Covid-19 Pandemic, it was decided to conduct such programs via online meeting platform where consumers can join while sitting at their home, shop, or office.

3. Representatives of Telecom Service Providers, students & faculty of different colleges and other stakeholders participated in the event.

4. During the program, consumers were informed about their rights with regard to various aspect of telecom services viz. Tariff, Value Added Services (VAS), Data Services, Unsolicited Commercial Communications (UCC), Mobile Number Portability, Complaint Redressal Mechanism, etc. Consumers were also informed about various Mobile apps viz. TRAI my-speed app, TRAI my-call app and DND 2.0 app developed by TRAI for consumer empowerment. Consumers were also educated about how consumers can take benefit of these apps and TRAI analytic portal. Consumers were also informed about various frauds viz. Tower fraud, etc. and how to remain careful.

5. It was also informed about Channel selection App for the benefit of consumers so that consumer can see his subscription, add/delete channels and optimize his choice. A video prepared by TRAI in this regard was played during the program.

6. Shri Sanjeev Banzai, Advisor (CA & IT) spoke about IoT and Applications.

7. During the interactive session, many queries of participants were answered by Shri S S Galgali, Advisor TRAI and his team. He clarified the points raised regarding UCC, VAS and Network complaints, Grievance Redressal Mechanism, Refund of Security Deposit and Fraudulent calls The participants were requested to make use of Apps developed by TRAI.

Tags : Consumer Outreach Program Online mode

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