Notifications & Circulars
Reserve Bank of India
Exchange facility to foreign citizens
Attention of Authorized Persons is invited to the A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 20 dated November 25, 2016 permitting foreign citizens to exchange foreign exchange for Indian currency notes up to a limit of Rs. 5000/- per week till December 15, 2016 and extended up to December 31, 2016 vide A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 22 dated December 16, 2016. On a review it has been decided that the instructions contained in the A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 20 dated November 25, 2016 shall continue to be in force till January 31, 2017. Authorised Persons may follow the above instructions and bring the contents of this circular to the notice of their constituents. The directions contained in this circular have been issued under Section 10(4) and Section 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 : Facility foreign citizens Exchange
Reserve Bank of India
RBI appoints Smt. Surekha Marandi as New ED
The Reserve Bank of India has appointed Smt. Surekha Marandi as Executive Director (ED) consequent upon superannuation of Shri U.S. Paliwal who retired on December 31, 2016. Smt. Marandi took charge on January 2, 2017. As Executive Director Smt. Marandi will look after Consumer Education and Protection Department, Financial Inclusion and Development Department and Secretary's Department. She has also served on the Boards of United Bank and Bank of Baroda.Prior to being promoted as ED, Smt. Marandi was Principal Chief General Manager and Chief Vigilance Officer in the Reserve Bank. Smt. Marandi has, over a span of three decades, served in regulatory and supervisory, financial inclusion and development and human resource management areas in the Reserve Bank. Smt. Marandi holds a Master's Degree from Jadhavpur University.
Tags : Appointment Executive Director RBI
Securities and Exchange Board of India
Guidance Note on Board Evaluation
The Companies Act, 2013 and SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 ("SEBI LODR") contain broad provisions on Board Evaluation i.e. evaluation of the performance of: (i) the Board as a whole, (ii) individual directors (including independent directors and Chairperson) and (iii) various Committees of the Board. The provisions also specify responsibilities of various persons / committees for conduct of such evaluation and certain disclosure requirements as a part of the listed entity's corporate governance obligations. However, the concept of Board evaluation in India is at a nascent stage. It has been brought to SEBI's notice by market participants that as the number of listed entities in India is very large, many of them may not have much clarity on the process of Board Evaluation and hence, may need further guidance.
SEBI has studied the practices of Board evaluation prevalent among listed entities in India. An analysis has also been done of the global practices in various jurisdictions like regulatory requirements, best practices, internal versus external evaluation, disclosure requirements etc. The matter was further discussed with the industry associations, stock exchanges, market participants and international bodies and experts to obtain their views on this subject. Based on the aforesaid analysis, a guidance note in this matter has been prepared in order to guide listed entities by elaborating various aspects of Board evaluation that may help them to improve the evaluation process, derive the best possible benefit and achieve the objective of the entire process.
The guidance note covers all major aspects of Board Evaluation including the following:
a.Subject of Evaluation i.e. who is to be evaluated;
b.Process of Evaluation including laying down of objectives and criteria to be adopted for evaluation of different persons;
c.Feedback to the persons being evaluated;
d.Action Plan based on the results of the evaluation process;
e.Disclosure to stakeholders on various aspects;
f.Frequency of Board Evaluation;
g.Responsibility of Board Evaluation and
h.Review of the entire evaluation process periodically.
The purpose of the Guidance Note is to educate the listed entities and their Board of Directors about various aspects involved in the Board Evaluation process and improve their overall performance as well as corporate governance standards to benefit all stakeholders. This would serve as a guide for listed entities and may be adopted by them as considered appropriate. Anything mentioned in the Guidance Note shall not be construed as interpretation of provisions of SEBI LODR or any other law. This Circular is issued in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 11 and Section 11A of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 read with Regulation 101 of SEBI LODR.
Tags : Evaluation Notes Guidance
Press Information Bureau
LPG customers to now get a discount for on-line payment of LPG refill
Oil Marketing Companies, viz Indian Oil, BPCL & HPCL are now offering an upfront discount of Rs. 5/- on every LPG refill to all LPG customers who will book and pay for their LPG cylinders online. Customers can make payment through existing online modes i.e net banking, credit & debit cards at the time of web-booking their refills. Customers will get the discounted amount displayed on their screens - i.e. net amount i.e refill RSP minus (-) incentive amount of Rs.5/- which they need to pay for their refill transactions. The net discounted amount will also be shown on the cash memo accompanying the home-delivery of the LPG cylinder. Under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, it the endeavour of all Oil Marketing Companies aim to encourage consumers to increasingly shift to such payment modes through digital platforms to achieve the objective of no-cash or less-cash based transactions. The incentive will encourage more and more LPG consumers to go for cashless mode transactions.
Ministry of Finance
Extending the Single Window Interface for Facilitation of Trade (SWIFT) to Exports
Kind reference is invited to Board's Circulars No. 03/2016 dated 03.02.2016 and No. 09/2015 dated 31.03.2015 regarding the Indian Customs Single Window (SWIFT). This project envisages that the importers and exporters would electronically lodge their Customs clearance documents at a single point only with the Customs, The required permission, if any, from other regulatory agencies would be obtained online without the importer/exporter having to separately approach these agencies. The Single Window provides the importers/exporters a single point interface for Customs clearance of import and export goods thereby reducing interface with Governmental agencies, dwell time and cost of doing business.
With the successful implementation of SWIFT for import, it is proposed to implement online-release from Partner Government Agencies (PGAs) for exports from 05/1/2017 onwards as a pilot at Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai Air cargo complexes for CITES/ wildlife items. Under the pilot, Shipping Bills filed online on ICEGATE or through the Service Centre will be referred to the concerned agency, namely WCCB, online for a "No Objection Certificate' (NOC), if any required. The selection of items to be referred to any agency will be based on criteria specified by the agencies. As in the case of imports, the list of Customs Tariff Heads (CTHs) for which goods require NOC from the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, shall be published on ICEGATE.
For granting NoC for goods entered for export, the offices of the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau are connected to the ICES. The Officers of Wild Life Crime Control Bureau may use the same role in ICES used for import, to process NOC in exports. Once a Shipping Bill is filed, the system will determine whether the consignment contains items requiring NOC from the agency. The system will then automatically re-route the Shipping Bill to the concerned WCCB office for granting NOC. Should the Shipping Bill require processing by Customs, it will happen in parallel.
Based on the list of Shipping Bills marked to the WCCB, the Agency's officer will retrieve the Shipping Bill online, and record the decision online on ICES. Should any documents be required for verification, for the time being, the Customs Broker or Exporter would have to produce hard copies of check-lists, export licenses, permits and other certificates/documents as required by the agency, until customs infrastructure is upgraded to provide uploading of soft copies of such documents. At this stage, the Agency's office may record any of the following:
(i) Release - No Objection Certificate
(ii) Out of Scope: Item does not require the Agency's NOC
(iii) Reject: Item is not permitted for clearance for "Let Export". Agency's office may make a suitable recommendation in respect of the item such as no-export or destruction. (The Agency will record this remark online.) Customs shall take further necessary action on the Shipping Bill.
(iv) Withhold NOC: NOC has been temporarily withheld for want of further documentation and/or testing after entering suitable remarks in the system by the Agency. These SBs can be retrieved by Agency's office for a further decision (Release/Provisional NOC/Out-of-Scope/Reject) after the information is received.
(v) Provisional NOC: Presently, WCCB does not grant NOC on a provisional basis. [Note, if this option can be easily disabled, it may be disabled.]
Once NOC [Release/Out of Scope/ or Provisional NOC] is obtained from the concerned agency and assessment by Customs (in cases where assessment is required) is completed, the exporter may register goods or present them for stuffing into containers (in case of containerized cargo). In cases where a sample needs to be drawn, the concerned agency will arrange with the exporter to collect them prior to the issuance of NOC. The rest of the procedure for registration of goods, examination (where required) and 'Let Export Order' will remain as at present. Since, the agency's officer records the NOC online, Customs shall not insist on the physical copy of the NOC.
Where the concerned officer of the Agency prefers to reject NOC by choosing option at 4(iii) above, the officer will also enter his remarks online on ICES, which will include a brief note on the basis for rejection so that the concerned Assistant/Deputy Commissioner of Customs can take further action, including adjudication under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962. In cases where the samples fail to meet the qualifying criteria upon testing, the Agency's officer will also record the same on the system while rejecting the NoC. Chief Commissioners are requested to sensitize staff, other agencies, trade and Customs brokers working under their jurisdiction to ensure the smooth implementation of the SWIFT online clearance in exports. Difficulty faced, if any, may be brought to the notice of the Board at the earliest. Further, a suitable Public Notice may be issued for the information of the Trade with a copy to the local offices of the Agencies.
Tags : Interface Extension Trade Facilitation
Press Information Bureau
Cabinet approves Agreement between India and Uruguay regarding Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved signing and ratifying an Agreement between India and Uruguay regarding Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters. The Agreement will help in the availability of relevant information for the prevention and investigation of Customs offences. The Agreement is also expected to facilitate trade and ensure efficient clearance of goods traded between the countries.
The draft Agreement takes care of Indian Customs' concerns and requirements, particularly in the area of exchange of information on the correctness of the Customs value declared, the authenticity of certificates of origin of goods and the description of the goods traded between the two countries.
Uruguay is an important trading partner of India among members of the MERCOSUR, a trading block in Latin America. India signed a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with the MERCOSUR which came into effect from 1st June, 2009. Trade between India and the Uruguay has been expanding gradually. The Agreement would provide a legal framework for sharing of information and intelligence between the Customs authorities of the two countries and help in the proper application of Customs laws, prevention and investigation of Customs offences and the facilitation of legitimate trade. The draft text of the proposed Agreement has been finalized with the concurrence of the two Customs Administrations.
Tags : Agreement Approval Mutual Assistance
Press Information Bureau
Central Board of Direct Taxes signs three more Advance Pricing Agreements pertaining to the Engineering Goods and Shipping sectors
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has started the year 2017 by entering into three unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) today. The three APAs signed today pertain to the Engineering Goods and Shipping sectors of the economy. The international transactions covered in these agreements include Intra-group Services and Support Services. With this, the total number of APAs entered into by the CBDT has reached 120 which includes 7 bilateral APAs and 113 Unilateral APAs. A total of 56 APAs (4 bilateral APAs and 52 unilateral APAs) have been entered into in the current financial year till date. The CBDT expects more APAs to be concluded and signed in the near future. The APA Scheme was introduced in the Income-tax Act in 2012 and the "Rollback" provisions were introduced in 2014. The scheme endeavours to provide certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing by specifying the methods of pricing and setting the prices of international transactions in advance. Since its inception, the APA scheme has evinced a lot of interest from taxpayers and that has resulted in more than 700 applications (both unilateral and bilateral) being filed in just four years. The progress of the APA Scheme strengthens the Government's resolve of fostering a non-adversarial tax regime. The Indian APA programme has been appreciated nationally and internationally for being able to address complex transfer pricing issues in a fair and transparent manner. The approach and functioning of the officers in the APA teams have been appreciated and acknowledged by the industry in India and abroad.
Tags : Agreement Signing of Engineering Goods and Shipping sectors
Press Information Bureau
Intellectual Property Rights
Launch of IPR Enforcement Toolkit for Police and IPR Awareness Campaign for Children
The Commerce & Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman launched an IPR Enforcement Toolkit for Police today. The toolkit has been jointly prepared by Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). This toolkit will be a ready reckoner for police officials across the country in dealing with IP crimes, specifically Trade Marks counterfeiting and Copyrights piracy. In addition to details of offences under various laws, it provides for checklists for registering a complaint and conducting search and seizures. It also lays down general guidelines for search and seizure in case of IP crimes. This toolkit will be provided to all state police departments across the nation and will assist them in dealing with the cases relating to Trademarks and Copyrights infringements.
The Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) under the aegis of the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India is working to ensure effective implementation of the National IPR Policy 2016. Several measures have been taken by CIPAM to strengthen the IP ecosystem in the country. The National IPR Policy recognizes that awareness about IPRs and respecting IPRs is very crucial in a healthy IP ecosystem. Children are the future of a country, and we should inculcate respect for IPRs amongst them from an early age, so that they become responsible users of IPRs in the future. CIPAM is collaborating with the International Trademark Association (INTA) to launch an IPR Awareness campaign for schoolchildren, which would spread the message on IPRs in a creative and engaging manner, through the use of presentations and creatively illustrated posters and pamphlets which cover the basics on IPRs and the need to protect IPRs.
In order to strengthen the Enforcement mechanism, CIPAM has also organized seven batches of training programmes for Police officials in State of Andhra Pradesh and a three day training programme for APOs and Police Officials in State of Uttar Pradesh. Trainees enacted plays and participated in quizzes and other activities based on IPRs. CIPAM has also written to all the state police and judicial academies to undertake training of police and judicial officers on Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights.
CIPAM is actively facilitating International engagements in the field of Intellectual Property Rights. Two MoU on IPRs were recently signed with UK and Singapore. India-USA Workshop on Protection of Trade Secrets was successfully organized by CIPAM to discuss various aspects related to Trade Secrets and its impact on Industry. CIPAM is looking forward to work with various stakeholders in its journey of making Creative India; Innovative India.
Tags : Launch Awareness IPR Enforcement
Ministry of Mines
Mines and Minerals
Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Removal of Difficulties Order, 2017
Whereas difficulties have arisen in giving effect to the provisions of clause (c) sub-section (2) of Section 10A of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015 (10 of 2015), in so far as it relates to fulfilment of conditions laid in the letter of intent (by whatever name called) issued by the State Governments within a period of two years from the date of commencement of the said Act.
Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of Section 24 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015 (10 of 2015), the Central Government hereby makes the following order to remove the difficulties relating to fulfilment of conditions laid in the letter of intent, namely:-
1.Short title and commencement.-
(1) This order may be called the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Removal of Difficulties Order, 2017.
(2) It shall come into force on the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.
Notwithstanding anything contained in clause (c) of sub-section (2) of Section 10A of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015 (10 of 2015), it is clarified that where the condition of obtaining environmental clearance has not been complied with by the applicant on or before 11th January, 2017, but all other conditions specified in previous approval or the letter of intent have been fulfilled, the applications shall be considered under that section and mining lease shall be granted by the concerned State Governments in accordance with the notifications issued under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986) (29 of 1986):
Provided that no mining activity shall commence unless and until the applicant obtains environmental clearance as laid down under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and the rules made there under.
Tags : Difficulty Removal Order