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Govt. amends Rules for Maintenance of Registers under Labour Laws; Notifies “Ease of Compliance to Maintain Registers under various Labour Laws Rules, 2017” applicable with effect from 21 Feb. 2017

The government has notified the “Ease of Compliance to Maintain Registers under various Labour Laws Rules, 2017” on 21st February 2017 in order to bring amendment with regard to the maintenance of the prescribed Registers under the various labour laws. The intention to provide such combined registers under the aforementioned rules is to ease the maintenance of registers, through online means, under the labour related laws and the rules made there under, wherein provisions have been made for maintenance of such registers. The said process and the maintenance of combined registers will not only facilitate ease of compliance, maintenance and inspection, but will also make the information provided there under easily accessible to the public through electronic means thereby increasing transparency.

 The Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill, 2017

The Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill, 2017 (“Bill”) was introduced in Lok Sabha on 3rd February, 2017 by Mr. Bandaru Dattatreya, Minister of Labour and Employment. The Bill was then passed by the Lok Sabha on 7th February 2017 and by the Rajya Sabha on 8th February 2017.

The Bill amends the Payment of Wages Act, 1936 (“Act”). The Act prior to the amendment, inter alia, provided that all wages to be paid to employees should be either in coin or currency notes, or both, and after obtaining written authorization from employees, the employer may pay the employee’s wages either by cheque or by crediting it into the  bank account of the employees. The Bill has done away with any such requirement and has amended the Act thereby permitting the employer to pay the employee’s wages in coin or currency notes, or by cheque, or by crediting them into his bank account, without obtaining any written authorization from the employees. However, the Bill does provide that the relevant central or state government may specify certain industrial or other establishments where the employer should pay his employees only by cheque, or by crediting the wages in the bank account of the employees.

Amendment in Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Act, 1992

The Securities Appellate Tribunal has been established under the provision of the SEBI Act, 1992 for hearing and disposing of appeals against the order passed by the SEBI. The finance minister has proposed an amendment in provisions related to the establishment of the Securities Appellate Tribunal, composition of the Securities Appellate Tribunal, qualifications for appointment as Presiding Officer, Judicial Member and Technical Member and procedure and powers of the Securities Appellate Tribunal for better governance and practice.

Submission of monthly reports by Custodian of Securities

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) vide its circular (IMD/FPIC/CIR/P/2017/12) dated 14th February 2017 (“Circular”) modified the circular (IMD/FII&C/30/2008) dated 21st July 2008 where the custodians had to submit the monthly reports to SEBI by the 7th of the succeeding month. The recent Circular provides for the custodian of securities to submit the monthly reports latest by either the end of the third working day of the succeeding month or the 5th of the succeeding month, whichever is later.

Abolishment of Research & Development (R&D) Cess

R&D Cess which was payable on all the payments made towards bringing technology, drawings, designs, publication, special service, or technical persons into India from a place outside India. It was levied at the rate of 5% on all the payments made by an industrial concern for the import of technology into India under a foreign collaboration. The basic purpose behind R&D Cess was to encourage the commercial application of indigenously developed technology and adaptation of imported technology to wider domestic application and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. It has been proposed to repeal the Research &Development Cess Act, 1986 with effect from 1st April, 2017.

 Proposal to amend Negotiable instrument Act

The Government is considering the option of amending the Negotiable Instruments Act suitably to ensure that the payees of dishonored cheques are able to realize their payments.

Mention of PAN in Certificate of incorporation

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has amended the Companies (Incorporation) Rules, 2014, whereby the Certificate of Incorporation shall now mention PAN of the newly incorporated company where if it is issued by the Income-tax Department.

Bonds, Government Securities and External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) held by the foreign entities

The concessional withholding rate of 5% charged on interest earned by foreign entities in ECBs or in bonds and government securities is extended till 30th June 2020. This benefit has also been extended to Rupee Denominated (Masala) Bonds.

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