Amendment regarding applicability of Contract Labour Act
The applicability of the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 has been increased from 20 workmen to 50 workmen for the state of Maharashtra vide Maharashtra Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) (Maharashtra Amendment) Act, 2016
Calling for New Legal Environment
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for introduction of the Repealing and Amending Bill, 2017. The Law Commission of India and the Legislative Department have identified 1,824 obsolete and redundant Central Acts which call for to being repealed. The Parliament has enacted 4 Acts (during the period of May, 2014 to August, 2016) to repeal 1,175 Central Acts. Out of the aforementioned 1,824 Acts, 227 Acts have been identified to be repealed by the State Governments. Till date, 73 Departments/ Ministries have given their comments and have agreed to repeal 105 Acts and disagreed to repeal about 139 Acts.
Listing of General Insurance Companies at stock exchanges
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for listing the following General Insurance Companies in the stock exchanges namely, the New India Assurance Company Limited, United India Insurance Company Limited, Oriental Insurance Company Limited, National Insurance Company Limited and General Insurance Corporation of India. Listing of above-mentioned public sector general insurance companies will ensure higher levels of transparency and accountability. It is also expected to improve scope of expansion of business, corporate governance and risk management practices. The shareholding of these companies will be divested from 100% to 75% in one or more tranches over a period of time.
Regulations for Adoption notified by the Government Press
The Central Adoption Resource Authority (“CARA”) under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 has framed the Adoption Regulations, 2017. These regulations have replaced the Adoption Guidelines, 2015. This initiative by the Government has been made with intent to strengthen the adoption programme in the country. The validity of Home Study Report under the Regulations has been increased from 2 to 3 years. All the adoptions shall be facilitated under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 through Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System (CARINGS). Transparency, informed choice for the parents, ethical practices and strictly defined timelines in the adoption process are the salient features of the Adoption Regulations.
New Version of Form for Application of Incorporation
In order to promote greater Ease of Doing Business in India, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs notifies a new version of SPICe Form (INC-32), effective from 30th January, 2017. Application for PAN and first TAN (allotted by Income Tax Dept) will be mandatory for all fresh incorporation applications and it shall be filed in the SPICe form itself. The new version of SPICe forms will be available for the stakeholders with effect from 1st February, 2017.
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.
Consumer’s discretion to pay ‘Service Charge’ or not
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution have received complaints from consumers regarding forced payment of ‘service charge’ in the range of 5-20 % in lieu of tips. In this context, the department of Consumer Affairs had called for clarification from the Hotel Association of India to which they observed that service charge is completely discretionary, and the customer can waive it off, if he/ she is dissatisfied with the dining experience. The Hotels/ Restaurants have been advised to disseminate information through display at appropriate places in the hotels/ restaurants that the ‘service charges’ are voluntary and a consumer on being dissatisfied with the services can have it waived off.
TRAI to bring out consultation on green issues
TRAI is set to bring out a consultation paper that would review issues related to reduction in carbon footprint for telecom infrastructure and mobile towers. The paper would be based on use of green technologies for reduction in carbon footprint from the telecom networks including the base transceiver stations.
Credit of proceeds due to write off of securities held by Foreign Portfolio Investors/deemed Foreign Portfolio Investors
SEBI with reference to its circular no. FITTC/FII/02/2002 dated May 15, 2002 has notified that any proceeds due to disinvestment and corporate benefits (received in the form of cash) shall be credited to the Investors Protection and Education Fund of SEBI not later than 7 days from the date of receipt thereof.
PE Firms Pull Out $10.3 Billion in 2016
The value of PE investment was stagnant over the past one decade. However, the global PE players made a sudden jump in valuation of their investments in 2016 and chose to pull out a record $10.3 billion from domestic market. The total PE exits rose 1% to $10.3 billion from $9.4 billion in 2015.
Startups likely to get tax benefits in Union Budget 2017
The Startup India programme may get benefited from the upcoming Financial Budget as the department is drawing up a list of tax concessions on ESOPs, unlisted securities and convertible instruments. DIPP has proposed that ESOPs for start-ups shall be taxed at the time of sale, when they have greater liquidity to pay taxes and the instruments get a fair valuation. DIPP is also in the process of finalising guidelines for a credit guarantee fund scheme to increase the availability of finances for startups.