Rules & Regulations

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FSSAI ISSUES NEW RULES FOR ENSURING QUALITY IMPORTS

JAN 2016- India's food regulator issued new rules for importing products, seeking to address concerns over the entry of sub-standard items and simplify the process by setting shelf-life norms and relaxing labelling guidelines. No food article will be allowed unless it has 60% of its shelf life remaining when it is cleared from customs, according to the new rules. Companies must register with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade and possess a valid import-export code, apart from an FBO licence to import food. The Food Safety and Standards (Import) Regulations, 2016, will come into force when they are notified by publication in the Official Gazette.



REVIEW OF FDI POLICY ON CONSTRUCTION DEVELOPMENT SECTOR

JUNE 2015- The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, approvesl for amending the existing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy on the 'Construction Development Sector' in line with the Budget announcement of the Government. The amendments in the relevant paragraphs of the extant FDI policy as contained in the Consolidated FDI Policy Circular 2014 are as follows



COMPANY ACT, 2013 TO REPLACE 6 DECADE OLD COMPANY ACT, 1956

OCT 2013- The Companies Act, 2013 (Act) has received the assent of the President of India on 29 August 2013 and was notified in the Gazette of India on 30 August 2013. The Act will replace the 6 decade old Companies Act, 1956. The Act has brought in various changes which intend to lead companies towards better governance, improved compliance and stricter enforcement processes. The Act emphasizes on corporate democracy and introduces, among others, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The Act should be enforced in phases. Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has initiated the process to implement the Act in consultation with concerned regulatory authorities, ministries and other stakeholders in a transparent and interactive process.



GOVT. CLEARS 100% FDI IN DEFENCE, TELECOM

JULY 2013- The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) has allowed 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in defence and telecom. The decision, part of a package that not only raised FDI limits in select sectors and eased red tape by allowing more investments through the automatic route, comes at a time when the government is desperate to demonstrate its commitment to economic reforms and improve dollar inflows to shore up the rupee.



NEW SET OF REFORMS ANNOUNCED FOR SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES

APRIL 2013- Ruling out any relief from imposition of Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT), the Commerce and Industry Minister, Anand Sharma, on Thursday, announced a set of reforms for Special Economic Zones (SEZ), including relaxation of land requirement norms, introduction of graded scale for minimum land criteria, offering an exit policy and doing away with minimum land requirement for setting up an IT/ITeS SEZs. The package of reforms and changed norms come in the wake of disinterest shown by corporate India to set up new SEZs.



GOVERNMENT TO RAISE FDI INSURANCE CAP

OCT 2012- The government is planning a host of measures in the coming days, including the politically bold move of raising the foreign direct investment (FDI) cap in insurance companies to 49% from the present 26%, as well as a multi-billion dollar mega-fund to support infrastructure projects such as expressways, ports and railways. Government sources told HT that the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-headed Union Cabinet is likely to consider some of these proposals in its meeting scheduled for later this week.



NATIONAL INVESTMENT BOARD MAY GET POWERS TO SPEED UP GREEN CLEARANCE

OCT 2012- The proposed National Investment Board (NIB), a high-powered body to provide single window clearance to large projects, may be armed with overriding powers to speed up environment-related clearances. Sources close to the development said the Board has moved a step closer to becoming a reality, with the Cabinet slated to take up the issue soon.Originally mooted in an outlook document as a modification to the existing Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure, the proposal for setting up a Board was mooted by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, while intervening during the deliberation of Full Planning Commission meeting on September 15.



MINISTER CALLS MEET TO TAKE STOCK OF LAND RECORDS

SEPT 2012- India’s aim to speedily upgrade and modernize land records will be discussed at a meeting of state revenue ministers called by rural development minister Jairam Ramesh in the capital. The 20 September meeting will also discuss the issue of missing records of around 2.4 million acres—amounting to almost half of all land donated under the Bhoodan (land donation) movement launched in 1951 in which rich land owners were persuaded to voluntarily donate land to the landless. In the six decades since, records show 4.8 million acres was donated, Ramesh said, but only 50% of it has been distributed. “What happened to the (remaining) land? Nobody knows...there is no record.”



EU LAUNCHES PROBE INTO DUMPING OF INDIAN STEEL WIRE

SEPT 2012- The European Commission said it had received an anti-dumping complaint by European steel producers' group Eurofer against imports of stainless steel wires from India. The complaint alleges that producers of certain types of steel wire have benefited from a number of subsidies granted by India, and are selling their wire in the EU at below-market prices hurting European competitors. The Commission said it was opening an investigation into whether or not the steel wire is being unfairly subsidised and has invited the Indian government for consultations on the matter.



TAX INITIATIVES TAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT TO REBUILD INVESTOR CONFIDENCE IN INDIA

SEPT 2012- The changes as well as the approach of tax authorities on transfer pricing and other areas were causing a lot of discomfort to foreign investors and Indian MNCs. There was significant media attention both national and international on the issues. With all round criticism of the tax changes and concern of vitiating the investments climate in India, the Government of India (GOI) has been reaching out to address the concerns of investment community. These announcements seek to rebuild the somewhat lost confidence of investors in India.



CLARIFICATION ON PARA 46A OF AS 11 BY THE MINISTRY OF CORPORATE AFFAIRS

AUGUST 2012- Considering the problems faced by the industries and based on several representations received from industry associations in relation to implementation of para 46A of notification 914(E) dated 29th December 2011, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (“The Ministry”) has issued circular no. 25/2012 dated 9th August 2012. Through this circular, the Ministry has now clarified that para 6 of Accounting Standard – 11 and para 4(e) of Accounting Standard -16 shall not apply to a company which applies clause 46A of the Accounting Standard – 11.



GOVERNMENT TAKES CALL ON FDI IN PHARMA

JULY 2012- India has finally taken a call on rules governing acquisition of domestic pharma companies by multinational firms, and it is not one that foreign companies like.An inter-ministerial group on foreign direct investment (FDI) in pharmaceuticals has decided that investments resulting in an equity holding higher than 49% in an Indian pharma company will have to apply for the approval of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), a part of the ministry of finance.Investments resulting in an equity holding lower than 49% as well as those made in subsidiaries will not need approval and will go through what is called the automatic route.