Tag Archives: LexCounsel

ILN Today Post

Startup India, Stand Up India

To augment the entrepreneurial spirit of country’s youth and tap on the immense potential of innovative ideas, the Government of India has recently launched its ambitious new scheme, ‘Startup India’. While vast majority of Indian population is below 35 years of age and the Start-up culture is on the rise, young ventures face many challenges including lack of clarify on regulatory approvals, multiple registrations and compliances, lack of supporting eco-system and most important funding constraints. Sensitive to these constraints, the Government has decided to provide an enabling environment for nurturing talent, simplifying systems and processes, handholding, mentoring and incubating new ventures and most important providing financial support through this new initiative.

Read full article
ILN Today Post

RBI directed to disclose information under Right to Information Act

The issue of whether the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) is bound to disclose information sought under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (“RTI Act”) was recently examined by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case Reserve Bank of India and Ors. v. Jayantilal N. Mistry and Ors., decided on December 16, 2015. The case in question dealt with certain orders of Central Information Commissioner (“CIC”) requiring RBI to furnish information sought by the applications filed under the RTI Act seeking certain information of other banks in public interest. 

Read full article
ILN Today Post

E-Commerce: The VAT Conundrum

The e-commerce boom and build-up of online sales, has opened up a massive opportunity for the online service providers/aggregators. Popularity of the online market places has however, also brought with it certain legal and regulatory challenges especially in relation to taxability of the online aggregators.

One such issue that the online aggregators seem to be grappling with is applicability of value added tax (“VAT”). In one of its recent judgements, the Kerala High Court dealt with this issue, in the matter of Flipkart Internet Private Limited and Ors. v.State of Kerala and Ors.(2015 (5) KHC 522). The state revenue authorities had imposed a penalty on the petitioner (Flipkart Internet Private Limited and others) under the Kerala Value Added Tax Act (“Act”), on the ground that the petitioner had not registered itself as a ‘dealer’ under the Act and not filled returns and maintained true and correct accounts as mandated under the said Act. 

Read full article
ILN Today Post

Recent Liberalizations in the Defence Sector

With a view to boost the domestic defence industry, the Government has recently made certain critical announcements with respect to the offset policy (as contained in the Defence Procurement Procedure (“DPP”) 2013 issued by the Ministry of Defence) (“Offset Policy”) and the foreign direct investment policy (“FDI Policy”) in the defence sector. A snapshot of the same is given below:

I.              Offset Policy – Reinstatement of Services:

The Offset obligations may be discharged with reference to specified eligible products, and eligible services in accordance with the Offset Policy, but provisions related to ‘services’ were kept in abeyance vide the Ministry of Defence’s Office Memorandum dated May 23, 2013, issued in the wake of the Agusta-Westland Deal. The industry has been since then making representations to the Government to reinstate the eligible services for discharge of the Offset obligations. The Ministry of Defence has recently through its Office Memorandum dated December 7, 2015 reinstated ‘services’ as an eligible avenue for offset discharge as per the following terms and conditions: 

Read full article
ILN Today Post

FDI Liberalizations in the E-Commerce Sector

Under the Consolidated Foreign Direct Investment Policy (“FDI Policy”) issued by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (“DIPP”), FDI is permitted upto 100% under the automatic route in companies engaged in E-Commerce provided such companies would engage only in Business to Business (B2B) e-commerce. FDI in E-Commerce with respect to retail trading, however, was not allowed.

With the issuance by DIPP of Press Note 12 of 2015 dated November 24, 2015, certain critical amendments have been brought in the FDI policy with respect to the single brand retail sector and manufacturing sector vis-à-vis the E-Commerce space. 

Read full article
ILN Today Post

Whether Employees Terminated for Misconduct Entitled to Payment of Statutory Dues

In this day and age of hire and fire, employers usually assume that statutory dues of a managerial employee terminated for misconduct can be legitimately forfeited. This assumption may be far from the established principles of applicable laws. Some of the post termination entitlements of a managerial employee dismissed for misconduct are discussed below:

(i)         Salary: Post termination obligations and rights of managerial employees are governed by their contracts and the applicable state’s shops and establishment enactment. While in most states employees occupying positions of confidential, managerial or supervisory character are excluded from the purview of the shops and establishment legislations (‘S&E Act’), there are a few states such as Punjab and Haryana that do not afford a similar exemption and therefore, employees working in managerial or supervisory capacity in these states fall within the purview of the S&E Act. Consequently, the wages of an employee in these states are liable to be paid within 2 working days of termination without any deductions.

Read full article
ILN Today Post

New Indian Wind Resource Atlas Announced

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (“MNRE”), Government of India, through the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), an autonomous institute of MNRE, has announced the “Indian Wind Resource Atlas : Online GIS”, with a tracking level of 100 metres, using scientific combination of satellite and one of the world’s largest number of measured (1,300 locations ) ground data. The NIWE (formerly C-WET) had released the Indian Wind Atlas at 50m and indicative values at 80m hub heights in April 2010 in collaboration with RISO-DTU, Denmark. 

Read full article
ILN Today Post

Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill 2015 Passed

The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2015 (“Insurance Bill”), which has been pending in various versions for more than 7 years, was passed by the Raj Sabha (upper house of Parliament) on March 12, 2015. It had earlier been passed by the Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) on March 4, 2015. The Insurance Bill (which replaced the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014 issued last year by the Government) seeks to amend the Insurance Act, 1938, the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act 1972 and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999.

Read full article
ILN Today Post

International Financial Services Centre to be set up

In March, the RBI will notify an international financial services centre (IFSC) under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA), to be set up in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The notification will make regulations relating to financial institutions (or their branches) set up in the IFSC. Such financial institutions (or their branches) set up in the IFSC will be treated as non-resident Indian entities located outside India, and will conduct business in such foreign currency and with such entities, whether resident or non-resident, as the regulatory authority may determine. Also, subject to certain provisions, nothing contained in any other regulations will apply to a unit located in IFSC. The respective regulatory authority will develop the regulatory framework for provisions of financial services in IFSC. The Government of India would permit the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) to allow insurers (life, non-life and health insurers) including foreign insurer or re-insurers to set up branches in IFSC. Similarly, RBI would permit the setting up of IFSC Banking Units (IBUs) by banks. The RBI has also formulated a draft scheme for the setting up of IBUs by banks. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) will allow setting up of exchanges and allow other activities for fund raising, merchant banking, brokerage, fund management, private equity, etc. Activities like currency derivatives, NIFTY futures, depository receipts, etc. will take place on the exchanges like any other IFSC.

Read full article
ILN Today Post

RBI notifies new FDI Policy for railways infrastructure & defence sector

The Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) has recently notified the Government of India’s decision to permit 100% foreign direct investment (“FDI”) in railways infrastructure (effective August 27, 2014), and increase FDI in the defence sector (effective August 26, 2014) as under:

Read full article