1 March 2021

Notifications & Circulars

Press Information Bureau


Intellectual Property Rights

Three Patents filed by NMPB, MoA as part of sponsored research projects


The National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), Ministry of AYUSH has initiated a special drive to identify the patentable projects which were / are sponsored under the 'Research and Development Component' of Central Sector Scheme (CSS) on "Conservation, Development and Sustainable Management of Medicinal Plants". NMPB generally sponsors various R&D programs under CSS to both government as well as private organizations across the country.

Under these sponsored / financially supported research projects, NMPB so far identified three unique projects which are novel in nature and patentable. They are: (1.) Bio-production of secondary metabolites from Aegle marmelos which is commonly known as Bel (R&D/TN-04/2006-07); (2.) In vitro production of secondary metabolites from tree species of Dashmoola (10 roots used in Ayurveda) through hairy root cultures (R&D/TN-0112013-14-NMPB); and (3.) Development of anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agents from Dioscoria floribunda (R&D/UP-04/2015-16). While the first two projects belong to the Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding (IFGTB), Coimbatore, the third project was carried out by Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Lucknow. The CIMAP filed patent is titled as "A synergistic polyherbal formulation exhibiting potential cancer activity."

The CEO-NMPB reiterated that this is just the humble beginning for NMPB's team and will file more patents in the coming times. The Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH congratulated the NMPB team for filing three patent applications in collaboration with the partner organizations.

Tags : Patents filing of NNPB

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Telecom Regulatory Authority of India


Media and Communication

Session on “Encouraging R&D in Telecom and Broadcasting Sectors”


Telecom Regulatory Authority Of India (TRAI), conducted an online Brainstorming session on "Encouraging Research & Development in Telecom and Broadcasting Sectors" on 24th February 2021 with the academia, industry and R&D institutions. The session was chaired by Dr. P.D. Vaghela, Chairman, TRAI.

1. Chairman TRAI highlighted the role of telecom and broadcasting industry in country's GDP growth. He emphasised importance of indigenous Research & Development in telecom and broadcasting sector which will lead to domestic manufacturing and will result in reduction of import of equipment in these sectors. The indigenous R&D will help India making Aatma Nirbhar in these sectors. Dr Vaghela mentioned that telecom and broadcasting sectors have great potential and will play an important role in making India a 5 trillion-dollar economy. He assured the representatives of academia, research institutes and industry that TRAI will act as a facilitator between Govt., academia and telecom and broadcasting industries. In his address Mr. S.K. Gupta, Secretary, TRAI highlighted need for having strong academia-industry and Government linkage and having a focussed approach on R&D in Telecom and Broadcasting sectors.

2. The session was attended by representatives of Prasar Bharti, CDoT, TSDSI, IIT Kanpur, IIT Madras, IIT Delhi and representatives of telecom service providers, broadcasting and cable service providers.

3. During the deliberation on the subject a number of suggestions were received viz.:

(a) Need for having a structured approach for making conducive environment for keeping focus on Indigenous R&D and for providing consistent support for the same

(b) Incentivising R&D efforts in India

(c) Adoption of indigenous technologies by the industry and by assured purchase orders for equipment to R&D institutions and startups

(d) Having a strong linkage of academia, research institutes and industry,

(e) Increasing Indian participation in international forums in R&D in the development of standards for emerging new technologies

(f) Haying a shared database of the R&D in telecom and broadcasting by various institutions

4. In order to achieve above objectives it was decided that a high level committee of senior officials from academia, industry, research institutions and a few focus groups consists of representatives from these institutions will be formed under aegis of TRAI to carry forward the task of encouraging R&D in Telecom and Broadcasting sectors. A focussed and coherent approach will leap frog India to become 'Atma Nirbhar' in telecom and broadcasting field.

5. To take this move forward TRAI invites valuable suggestions from various stakeholders viz. Academia, telecom & broadcasting industry, related research organisations, students, startups and general public for "Encouraging R&D in Telecom and Broadcasting sectors in India".

Tags : Research Development Telecom Sector

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Securities and Exchange Board of India


Capital Market

Pre-Expiry Margin on commodities under Alternate Risk Management Framework


1. SEBI vide Circular CIR/CDMRD/DRMP/01/2015 dated October 01, 2015 and SEBI/HO/CDMRD/DNPMP/CIR/P/2019/83 dated July 26, 2019, inter alia, had prescribed norms related to Pre-Expiry Margins.

2. In light of an unprecedented event of negative final settlement price in the crude oil futures markets in the recent past, SEBI vide circular SEBI/HO/CDMRD/DRMP/ CIR/P/2020/176 dated September 21, 2020 had prescribed an Alternate Risk Management Framework (ARMF) that would be applicable in case of near zero and / or negative prices for any underlying commodities/futures. Pursuant to clause 3.2 of the aforesaid circular, Clearing Corporations had to identify commodities susceptible to the possibility of near zero and negative prices

3. The matter of negative crude oil price event was deliberated upon in the Risk Management Review Committee (RMRC) of SEBI. In this regard, one of the suggestions of RMRC was that Indian Exchanges should consider introducing some mechanism to encourage significant reduction of Open Interest as the contract approaches the expiry date.

4. In line with the recommendations of the RMRC, it has been decided in consultation with Clearing Corporations that pre-expiry margins shall be imposed on cash settled contracts wherein the underlying commodity is deemed susceptible to possibility of near zero and/or negative prices as identified by exchange/CC under ARMF circular. In case of these contracts, pre-expiry margins shall be levied during the last five trading days prior to expiry date, wherein they shall increase by 5% every day.

5. The circular shall be effective from the first trading day of the month of April 01, 2021.

6. This circular is issued in exercise of the 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 : Pre-Expiry Margin Commodities

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Ministry of Finance 


Goods and Services Tax

Supersession of Notification Number 17/2020-Central Tax, dated the 23rd March, 2020


In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (6D) of section 25 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (12 of 2017) (hereafter in this notification referred to as the said Act), the Government, on the recommendations of the Council and in supersession of the notification of the Government of India in the Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue) No. 17/2020-Central Tax, dated the 23rd March, 2020, published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, vide number G.S.R. 200(E), dated the 23rd March, 2020, except as respects things done or omitted to be done before such supersession, hereby notifies that the provisions of sub-section (6B) or sub-section (6C) of section 25 of the said Act shall not apply to a person who is, --

(a) not a citizen of India; or

(b) a Department or establishment of the Central Government or State Government; or

(c) a local authority; or

(d) a statutory body; or

(e) a Public Sector Undertaking; or

(f) a person applying for registration under the provisions of sub-section (9) of section 25 of the said Act.

Tags : Supersession Notification Provision

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Press Information Bureau


MRTP/ Competition Laws

CCI approves acquisition of API Holdings Private Limited equity shareholding by CDPQ Private Equity Asia Pte Ltd


The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approves acquisition by CDPQ Private Equity Asia Pte. Ltd. ('CDPQ/Acquirer') of equity shareholding of API Holdings Private Limited ('API Holdings/Target') under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002, today.

The combination envisages an acquisition of approximately 2% shareholding in the Target by the Acquirer along with certain additional rights.

The Acquirer is a wholly owned subsidiary of CDPQ and located in Singapore. CDPQ acts as an institutional investor that manages funds primarily for public and para-public pension and insurance plans. CDPQ is a Canadian institutional fund, which manages and serves more than 40 depositors which comprises public and private pension and insurance funds in Quebec.

API Holdings is a company incorporated in India and is the ultimate parent entity of the API Holdings group. API Holdings, either directly or through its subsidiaries, carries out various business activities inter alia including:

(a) wholesale and distribution of drugs (including pharmaceutical products, medical devices and over the counter drugs);

(b) provision of transportation services primarily focused on the pharmaceutical sector;

(c) owning technology and intellectual property for developing e-commerce platforms including marketplaces for facilitating the sale of pharmaceutical products, medical devices and OTC drugs;

(d) manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceutical, ayurvedic and nutraceutical products, medical devices, hygiene products, life-saving medicines, herbal products and food supplements;

(e) operating and providing an online application which provides a business to business ("B2B") order management system for retailers and distributors of pharmaceutical products, medical devices and OTC drugs.

Tags : Acquisition Approval Equity shareholding

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Press Information Bureau


Goods and Services Tax

CBIC provides facilitation for exporters having IGST refund issues


The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has extended the time limit for sanction of pending IGST refunds in such cases where records have not been transmitted to ICEGATE due to GSTR1 and GSTR3B mismatch error. This overcomes the problem of refund blockage by allowing refunds subject to undertakings/submission of CA certificates by the exporters and post refund audit scrutiny. This facilitation was issued Vide Circular 04/2021 and would be applicable to all shipping bills filed up to 31.03.2021.

The CBIC has also extended the facility for resolving invoice mismatch errors (classified as SB-005 error) through customs officer interface on permanent basis vide Circular 05/2021. Earlier this facility was provided for a limited period i.e. in respect of shipping bills filed up to 31.12.2019.

The exporter may avail the facility of correction of Invoice mis-match errors (error code SB-005) in respect of all past shipping bills, irrespective of its date of filing subject to payment of a nominal fee. The CBIC has continuously taken a proactive approach to resolve issues faced by the trade. It is seen that a considerable number of exporters have been facing difficulties in getting their IGST refund sanctioned either due to lack of facility to amend GST 3B return or bona-fide clerical/human errors while filing the documents. With the endeavour of resolving all such pending IGST refund claims, CBIC has issued Circular 04/2021-Customs dated 16.02.2021 and Circular 05/2021-Customs dated 17.02.2021.

Tags : Facilitation Exporters IGST refund

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