Monthly Archives: April 2016

Railways Busy Season Charges withdrawn

PIB release dated 29th April, 2016

Ministry of Railways has decided to withdraw Busy Season Charge levied on all commodities loaded in Covered Stock for two months. This will be applicable from 1st May 2016 to 30th June 2016. This was announced by the Railway Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu in a programme today.

BACKGROUNDER :

• In the Railway Budget for 2016-17,it was declared that a review of tariff policy would be undertaken to evolve a competitive rate structure vis-à-vis other modes, permit multi point loading / unloading and apply differentiated tariffs to increase utilization of alternate routes. It was also stated that the current tariff structure of IR has led to out-pricing of our services in the freight market.

• Keeping in view the above commitment made in the Railway Budget, the following initiatives have already been taken:

1) Allowing Two-point/ Multi point/ Mini Rake loading in all kinds of covered wagons. Earlier there was a restriction on BCN wagons.

2) Minimum distance for Mini Rakes was increased from 400kms to 600kms.

3) Automatic Freight Rebate Scheme in Traditional Empty Flow Direction has been extended.

4) Port Congestion Charge (10% of Base Freight) has been withdrawn.

5) Scheme to attract Merry-go-round System traffic has been introduced.

6) Guidelines for traffic on IR for Coastal Shipping for Iron Ore for Domestic consumption has been allowed.

• Further, in line with the Budget announcement to rationalise the tariff structure, it was decided to review Busy Season Charge of 15%. Industry, various trade associations and field officials have been representing that due to fall in Diesel prices, there has been sharp decline in road rates in the last few years, which has made rail freight highly uncompetitive for customers. In view of the same, after review, it has been decided to withdraw Busy Season Charge levied on all commodities loaded in Covered Stock for two months. This will be applicable from 1st May 2016 to 30th June 2016. As per our existing policy, this charge is not levied during the Lean Season i.e. 1st July to 30th September, which implies that BSC will not be levied effectively till 30th September 2016.

• There will be a reduction of 15% in the Basic freight due to withdrawal of BSC.

• Generally, Cement,Fertilizers and Foodgrains are loaded in Jumbo rakes. Out of these commodities the rail co-efficient of Cement has fallen substantially during the previous years from 50% to 40% and its demand is also highly price elastic and sensitive.

• It is expected that by this policy initiative of withdrawal of Busy Season Charge, there would be a likely increase in loading by around 6-7MT, which will more than compensate the financial loss due withdrawal of this surcharge).

 

Leave a comment

Filed under infrastructure

Companies Accounting Standards Amendment Rules 2016

MCA has issued a clarification vide its circular no. 4/2016 dated 27th April, 2016 that the Accounting Standards which were amended vide the Companies (Accounting Standards) Amendment Rules, 2016 will come into effect from the date of notification of the said Amendment Rules i.e. 30th March, 2016 and therefore for all financial year commencing on or after the date of notification, the revised Accounting Standards will have to be used by the companies.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under company law

Concessions to start-ups on labour laws

PIB press release dated 25th April, 2016

In order to promote the Start-Up ecosystem in the country and incentivizing the entrepreneurs in setting up new start-up ventures and thus catalyze the creation of employment opportunities through them, the Ministry of Labour & Employment has issued an advisory to the States/UTs/Central Labour Enforcement Agencies for a compliance regime based on self-certification and regulating the inspections under various Labour Laws.

It has been suggested that if such start-ups furnish self-declaration for compliance of nine labour laws for the first year from the date of starting the start-up, no inspection under these labour laws, wherever applicable, will take place. The nine labour laws, included in this advisory are:

the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947;

• the Trade Unions Act, 1926;

• the Building and Other Constructions Workers’ (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996;

• the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946;

• the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979;

• the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972;

• the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970;

• the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952; and

• the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948.

• From the second year onwards, up to 3 year from the setting up of the units, such start-ups are required to furnish self-certified returns and would be inspected only when credible and verifiable complaint of violation is filed in writing and approval has been obtained from the higher authorities.

The advisory to State Governments is not to exempt the Start-ups from the ambit of compliance of these Labour Laws but to provide an administrative mechanism to regulate inspection of the Start-Ups under these labour laws, so that Start-ups are encouraged to be self-disciplined and adhere to the rule of law. These measures intend to avoid harassment of the entrepreneurs by restricting the discretion and arbitrariness. Punitive action shall, however, be taken whenever there is a violation of these labour laws.

Leave a comment

Filed under labour law compliances

Extension of date for filing ST-3 return

PIB Press Release dated 25th April, 2016

The Central Government has extended the date of filing of ST-3 returns to 29.04.2016 from 25.04.2016 owing to certain difficulties being faced by the taxpayers in the ACES application. Order 1/2016 — Service Tax dated 25.04.2016 has been issued in this regard.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

ODI – rationalization & reporting

RBI notification dated 13th April, 2016 follows

https://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/NotificationUser.aspx?Id=10351&Mode=0

2. At present, application for ODI is required to be made in Form ODI – Part I (comprising six sections) for direct investments in Joint Venture (JV) / Wholly Owned Subsidiary (WOS) under automatic route / approval route. Further, remittances and other forms of financial commitment undertaken by the Indian Party (IP) are reported in Form ODI Part II. Annual Performance Report (APR) on the functioning of overseas JV / WOS in Form ODI Part III and details of disinvestment in Form ODI Part IV are currently required to be submitted through the designated Authorised Dealer Bank (AD bank). While Form ODI Part I and Part III are required to be submitted by the applicant undertaking ODI, the Form ODI Part II and Part IV are to be submitted by the AD bank on behalf of the applicant. In order to capture all data pertaining to the IP undertaking ODI as well as the related transaction, it has been decided to subsume Form ODI Part II within Form ODI Part I. Thus the Form ODI will have five sections instead of six.

3. The rationalised and revised Form ODI (Annex I) will now comprise the following parts:

Part I – Application for allotment of Unique Identification Number (UIN) and reporting of Remittances / Transactions:

Section A – Details of the IP / RI.

Section B – Capital Structure and other details of JV/ WOS/ SDS.

Section C – Details of Transaction/ Remittance/ Financial Commitment of IP/ RI.

Section D – Declaration by the IP/ RI.

Section E – Certificate by the statutory auditors of the IP/ self-certification by RI.

Part II – Annual Performance Report (APR)

Part III – Report on Disinvestment by way of

  1. Closure / Voluntary Liquidation / Winding up/ Merger/ Amalgamation of overseas JV / WOS;
  2. Sale/ Transfer of the shares of the overseas JV/ WOS to another eligible resident or non-resident;
  3. Closure / Voluntary Liquidation / Winding up/ Merger/ Amalgamation of IP; and
  4. Buy back of shares by the overseas JV/ WOS of the IP / RI.

4. Further, a new reporting format has also been introduced for Venture Capital Fund (VCF) / Alternate Investment Fund (AIF), Portfolio Investment and overseas investment by Mutual Funds as per the format in Annex II and Annex III. In case of reporting purchase and repurchase of ESOPs, the AD banks may continue to report the same in the existing format (Annex IV).

5. It is further advised that any post investment changes subsequent to the allotment of the UIN are required to be reported as indicated in the operational instructions on submission of Form ODI Part I (Annex I).

6. AD banks before executing any ODI transaction must obtain the Form ODI Part I from the applicant in terms of Regulation 6 (2) (vi) of the Notification, ibid. Further, the AD bank should report the relevant Form ODI in the online OID application and obtain UIN while executing the remittance.

7. In case of RI undertaking ODI, certification of Form ODI Part I by statutory auditor or chartered accountant need not be insisted upon. Self-certification by the RI concerned may be accepted.

8. The revised ODI forms and instructions for filling up the forms will come into effect immediately.

9. Reserve Bank reserves the right to place the information received through the forms in the public domain.

10. As hitherto, the AD banks would continue to receive the ODI forms as also documents related to the post investment changes in the physical form. These should be preserved UIN wise for submission to the Reserve Bank, if and when specifically required.

11. AD banks should put in place proper processes and systems and issue necessary instructions to all the dealing officials at the bank / branch level to ensure compliance with these guidelines.

Online Reporting of Form ODI

12. Online OID application has been revamped to further reduce the traditional paper based filing system, to provide the AD banks fast and easy accessibility to data for reference purpose, to improve the coverage and ensure proper monitoring of the flows in a dynamic environment. Accordingly, modules in online OID application have been added, wherein all the ODI forms as mentioned in this circular may be reported.

13. A concept of AD Maker, AD Checker and AD Authorizer has now been introduced in the online application process. The AD Maker shall initiate the transaction and submit to the AD Checker for verification of the transaction before submission to Reserve Bank. The AD Authorizer shall have the authority to ratify these ODI transaction which are pending due to various reasons, such as, delay arising on account of seeking further clarification from the IP / RI, technical difficulty in reporting the transaction in the online OID application and on account of delay in completing the due diligence process.

14. The AD bank may identify an official in the middle management level who may be assigned the responsibility of the AD Authorizer. The Authorizer shall be entrusted with the following responsibilities:

  1. Examining the genuineness of the reason/s behind late submission of the ODI Forms.
  2. Ratifying those online transaction which are reported with a delay owing to operational difficulties after recording the facts in the online OID application under the Remarks column.

15. The Centralized Unit / Nodal Office of the AD bank should ensure online reporting of Overseas Investments in the application hosted on the websitehttps://oid.rbi.org.in

16. The AD Maker, AD Checker and AD Authoriser identified by the AD Bank may obtain a user-id for accessing the online OID application by submitting a request in the prescribed format (Annex V).

17. Any non-compliance with respect to the instruction for submission of Form ODI Part I, Part II and Part III shall be treated as contravention of Regulation 6 (2) (vi), Regulation 15 and Regulation 16 respectively, of the FEMA Notification No 120/RB-2004 dated July 07, 2004 as amended. The Reserve Bank will take a serious view on non-compliance with the guidelines / instructions and initiate penal action as considered necessary.

18. AD Category – I banks may bring the contents of this circular to the notice of their constituents and customers concerned.

19. Master Direction No. 15/2015-16 dated January 1, 2016 and Master Direction No. 18/ 2015-16 dated January 1, 2016 are being updated to reflect the changes.

20. The directions contained in this circular have been issued under sections 10(4) and 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.

Leave a comment

Filed under FEMA

ODI – Submission of APR

RBI notification dated April 13, 2016

https://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/NotificationUser.aspx?Id=10349&Mode=0

Attention of the Authorised Dealer (AD – Category I) banks is invited to the Notification No. FEMA 120/RB-2004 dated July 7, 2004 [Foreign Exchange Management (Transfer or Issue of any Foreign Security) (Amendment) Regulations, 2004] (the Notification), as amended from time to time. Attention of AD Category – I banks is also invited to A. P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 68 dated June 01, 2007 on Rationalisation of Forms, A. P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 29 dated September 12, 2012 on rationalisation of guidelines relating to submission of the Annual Performance Report (APR), A. P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 24 dated August 14, 2013 on Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) by Resident Individuals under which they were allowed to set up JV / WOS outside India and para B.14 of FED Master Direction No. 15 /2015-16 dated January 1, 2016.

2. At present, an Indian Party (IP) / Resident Individual (RI) which has made an Overseas Direct Investment (ODI) has to comply with certain obligations prescribed under the Notification No. FEMA 120/RB-2004 dated July 07, 2004 as amended from time to time. One of these includes obligation for submission of an Annual Performance Report (APR) in Form ODI Part III to the Reserve Bank by 30th of June every year in respect of each Joint Venture (JV) / Wholly Owned Subsidiary (WOS) outside India set up or acquired by the IP / RI (as prescribed under Regulation 15 of FEMA Notification, ibid).

3. It has been observed that:

  1. IP / RI are either not regular in submitting the APR or are submitting it with delay. This is not in line with Regulation 15 of the Notification, ibid.
  2. Remittance/s and other forms of financial commitment are often facilitated by the designated Authorised Dealer bank (AD bank) under automatic route even though APR in respect of all overseas JV / WOS of the IP / RI effecting such remittance/s have not been submitted. This is in contravention of Regulation 6(2)(iv) of the Notification, ibid.

4. In order to provide AD banks greater capability to track submission of APRs and also improve compliance level in the matter of submission of APRs by the IPs / RIs, it is now advised as under:

  1. The online OID application has been suitably modified to enable the nodal office of the AD bank to view the outstanding position of all the APRs pertaining to an applicant including for those JV / WOS for which it is not the designated AD bank. Accordingly, the AD bank, before undertaking / facilitating any ODI related transaction on behalf of the eligible applicant, should necessarily check with its nodal office to confirm that all APRs in respect of all the JV / WOS of the applicant have been submitted;
  2. Certification of APRs by the Statutory Auditor or Chartered Accountant need not be insisted upon in the case of Resident Individuals. Self-certification may be accepted;
  3. In case multiple IPs / RIs have invested in the same overseas JV / WOS, the obligation to submit APR shall lie with the IP / RI having maximum stake in the JV / WOS. Alternatively, the IPs / RIs holding stake in the overseas JV / WOS may mutually agree to assign the responsibility for APR submission to a designated entity which may acknowledge its obligation to submit the APR in terms of Regulation 15 (iii) of Notification, ibid, by furnishing an appropriate undertaking to the AD bank;
  4. An IP / RI, which has set up / acquired a JV / WOS overseas in terms of the Regulations of the Notification, ibid, shall submit, to the AD bank every year, an APR in Form ODI Part II in respect of each JV / WOS outside India and other reports or documents by 31st of December each year or as may be specified by the Reserve Bank from time to time. The APR, so required to be submitted, shall be based on the latest audited annual accounts of the JV / WOS unless specifically exempted by the Reserve Bank.

5. AD banks may issue necessary instructions to all the dealing officials at the bank / branch level and put in place proper processes and systems to ensure compliance with the extant FEMA guidelines. Any non-compliance with the instruction relating to submission of APR shall be treated as contravention of Regulation 15 of the Notification No. FEMA 120/RB-2004 dated July 07, 2004 as amended and viewed seriously.

6. AD Category – I banks may bring the contents of this circular to the notice of their constituents and customers concerned.

7. Master Direction No. 15/2015-16 dated January 1, 2016 and Master Direction No. 18/ 2015-16 dated January 1, 2016 are being updated to reflect the changes.

8.The directions contained in this circular have been issued under section 10(4) and 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.

Leave a comment

Filed under FEMA

Service tax on services provided by Govt. – clarification

PIB press release dated 14th April, 2016

Any service provided by the Government or a local authority to a business entity has been made taxable with effect from 1st April 2016. Prior to this, only support services provided by Government or local authority to business entities were taxable. In order to clarify doubts raised by members of Industry and Trade Associations and mitigate the small assessees from compliance burden, a detailed Circular No. 192/02/2016-Service Tax dated 13 April 2016 has been issued. The Circular addressed to the field formations of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) explains in a Q&A form the various provisions of the notifications issued in this regard. The Circular can be accessed athttp://www.cbec.gov.in/resources//htdocs-servicetax/st-circulars/st-circulars-2016/st-circ-192-2016.pdf

It may be recalled that services provided by Government or a local authority to business entities up to a turnover of Rs 10 lakh in the preceding financial year have been exempted. This would relieve small businesses from compliance burden.

In this background, the salient features of the Circular are as under:-

Services provided by Government or a local authority to another Government or a local authority have been exempted. However, this exemption is not applicable to services provided by Government or a local authority which were subjected to service tax prior to 1st April 2016 (for instance, the services of transport of goods or passengers by Indian Railways).

Services by way of grant of passport, visa, driving license, birth or death certificates have been exempted. Further, services provided by Government or a local authority where the gross amount charged for such service does not exceed Rs 5000/- have been exempted. In case of continuous service, the exemption shall be applicable where the gross amount charged for such service does not exceed Rs. 5000/- in a financial year. Needless to say that this exemption is not applicable to the services provided by Government or a local authority which were subjected to service tax prior to 1st April 2016.

It has also been clarified that taxes, cesses or duties levied are not leviable to Service Tax. These taxes, cesses or duties include excise duty, customs duty, Service Tax, State VAT, CST, income tax, wealth tax, stamp duty, taxes on professions, trades, callings or employment, octroi, entertainment tax, luxury tax and property tax.

It has been clarified that fines and penalty chargeable by Government or a local authority imposed for violation of a statute, bye-laws, rules or regulations are not leviable to Service Tax.     Further, fines and liquidated damages payable to Government or a local authority for non-performance of contract entered into with Government or local authority have been exempted.

It has been clarified that any activity undertaken by Government or a local authority against a consideration constitutes a service and the amount charged for performing such activities is liable to Service Tax. It is immaterial whether such activities are undertaken as a statutory or mandatory requirement under the law and irrespective of whether the amount charged for such service is laid down in a statute or not. As long as the payment is made (or fee charged) for getting a service in return (i.e., as a quid pro quo for the service received), it has to be regarded as a consideration for that service and taxable irrespective of by what name such payment is called. As a result, Service Tax is leviable on any payment, in lieu of any permission or license granted by the Government or a local authority. However, services provided by the Government or a local authority by way of:

(i) registration required under the law;

(ii) testing, calibration, safety check or  certification relating to protection or safety of workers, consumers or public at large, required under the law,

have been exempted.

It has also been clarified that Circular No. 89/7/2006-Service Tax dated 18-12-2006 & and Reference Code 999.01/23.8.07 in Circular No. 96/7/2007-ST dated 23.8.2007 issued in the pre-negative list regime by CBE&C are no longer applicable.

Services by way of allocation of natural resources by Government or a local authority to an individual farmer for the purposes of agriculture have been exempted.

Regulation of land-use, construction of buildings and other services  listed in  the Twelfth Schedule to the Constitution which  have been entrusted to  Municipalities under Article 243W of the Constitution, when provided by governmental authority are already exempt from service tax. The said services when provided by Government or a local authority have also been exempted from Service Tax.

Services provided by Government, a local authority or a governmental authority by way of any activity in relation to any function entrusted to a Panchayat under Article 243G of the Constitution have been exempted from service tax.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Railways withdraws levy of port congestion surcharge

PIB press release dated 15th April, 2016

Indian Railways is moving ahead with big bang reforms as announced in the Railway Budget.

In order to attract imported freight traffic including Containers, Coal, Iron ore etc (diverted to road), it has been decided to withdraw the levy of Port Congestion Surcharge with immediate effect. This was a pending demand of the Ministries of Shipping and Ports, Steel, Container Operators and other Industries.       The move will be a big boost to national industrial growth.
The surcharge withdrawn was 10% on basic freight and it’s withdrawal will generate additional  incremental traffic.

 

BACKGROUNDER :

 

Due to the prevailing economic situation during the later part of the FY 2014-15, there had been a burgeoning growth of import traffic at ports, particularly of iron ore, thermal coal, fertilizer and containers. In order to compensate for the additional detention to railway rolling stock at the ports and the consequential loss of loading potential of revenue earning freight traffic, it had been decided to impose congestion surcharge of 10% on base freight on all traffic including containers originating from ports with effect from 24.11.2014.

 

The situation has since changed with the congestion levels at almost all ports having come down due to a significant drop in import of thermal coal, iron ore, fertilizer and container traffic in recent months. The pendency of demands at ports has come down drastically prompting Railways to withdraw the port congestion surcharge with immediate effect.

Over the past few months, there had been a persistent demand from the Industry and concerned nodal Ministries to consider withdrawal of the 10%congestion surcharge on the grounds that it was having a very significant impact in the logistics cost and was leading to diversion of traffic from the more environmental friendly rail mode to road, also precipitated because of falling prices of diesel.

 

The withdrawal is expected to give respite to the Industry in bringing down logistics costs and thereby attract increasing volumes of traffic to the rail mode, particularly in the major segments of imported thermal and coking coal for the power sector and steel plants, imported bauxite and alumina for the Aluminum Industry, import container traffic movement from gateway ports to the hinterland, imported fertilizers, imported limestone and dolomite for the steel plants etc.

 

The decision to withdraw the congestion surcharge is one of the significant steps in the direction of rationalization of freight rate structure announced by the Hon’ble Minister of Railways in this year’s Railway Budget.  Besides this, three other policy initiatives have already been launched by Ministry of Railways in accordance with the budget announcements. These are (i) opening of loading of BCN rakes for two point destinations; (ii) incentive scheme for merry-go-round operations by Railways in colliery – power plant circuits and (iii) policy on coastal movement of iron ore, involving combination of rail cum sea movements, for steel plants located on west coast. All these policy initiatives are expected to contribute to significant increase in freight traffic and corresponding earnings during the current fiscal.

Leave a comment

Filed under infrastructure

Hazardous Waste Management Rules, 2016

The Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change has notified the Hazardous & Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement), Rules, 2016.

For the first time, Rules have been made to distinguish between Hazardous Waste and other wastes. Other wastes include:Waste tyre, paper waste, metal scrap, used electronic items, etc. and are recognized as a resource for recycling and reuse. These resources supplement the industrial processes and reduce the load on the virgin resource of the country.

The salient features of Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management &Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016 include the following:-

i. The ambit of the Rules has been expanded by including ‘Other Waste’.

ii. Waste Management hierarchy in the sequence of priority of prevention, minimization, reuse, recycling, recovery, co-processing; and safe disposal has been incorporated.

iii. All the forms under the rules for permission, import/export, filing of annual returns, transportation, etc. have been revised significantly, indicating the stringent approach for management of such hazardous and other wastes with simultaneous simplification of procedure.

iv. The basic necessity of infrastructure to safeguard the health and environment from waste processing industry has been prescribed as Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs), specific to waste type, which has to be complied by the stakeholders and ensured by SPCB/PCC while granting such authorisation.

v. Procedure has been simplified to merge all the approvals as a single window clearance for setting up of hazardous waste disposal facility and import of other wastes.

vi. Co-processing as preferential mechanism over disposal for use of waste as supplementary resource, or for recovery of energy has been provided.

vii. The approval process for co-processing of hazardous waste to recover energy has been streamlined and put on emission norms basis rather than on trial basis.

viii. The process of import/export of waste under the Rules has been streamlined by simplifying the document-based procedure and by revising the list of waste regulated for import/export.

ix. The import of metal scrap, paper waste and various categories of electrical and electronic equipments for re-use purposehas been exempted from the need of obtaining Ministry’s permission.

x. The basic necessity of infrastructure to safeguard the health and environment from waste processing industry has been prescribed as Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) specific to waste type.

xi. Responsibilities of State Government for environmentally sound management of hazardous and other wastes have been introduced as follows:

 Toset up/ allot industrial space or sheds for recycling, pre-processing and other utilization of hazardous or other waste

 To register the workers involved in recycling, pre-processing and other utilization activities.

 To form groups of workers to facilitate setting up such facilities;

 To undertake industrial skill development activities and ensure safety and health of workers.

xii. List of processes generating hazardous wastes has been reviewed taking into account technological evolution in the industries.

xiii. List of Waste Constituents with Concentration Limits has been revised as per international standard and drinking water standard.

The following items have been prohibited for import:

a. Waste edible fats and oil of animals, or vegetable origin;

b. Household waste;

c. Critical Care Medical equipment;

d. Tyres for direct re-use purpose;

e. Solid Plastic wastes including Pet bottles;

f. Waste electrical and electronic assemblies scrap;

g. Other chemical wastes especially in solvent form.

xiv. State Government is authorized to prepare integrated plan for effective implementation of these provisions, and have to submit annual report to Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

xv. State Pollution Control Board is mandated to prepare an annual inventory of the waste generated; waste recycled, recovered, utilised including co-processed; waste re-exported and waste disposed and submit to the Central Pollution Control Board by the 30th day of September every year.

3. Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste means any waste, which by reason of characteristics, such as physical, chemical, biological, reactive, toxic, flammable, explosive or corrosive, causes danger to health, or environment. It comprises the waste generated during the manufacturing processes of the commercial products such as industries involved in petroleum refining, production of pharmaceuticals, petroleum, paint, aluminium, electronic products etc. As per the information furnished by CPCB in the year 2015, the total hazardous waste generation in the country is 7.46 million metric tonnes per annum from about 44,000 industries.

4. Proper Hazardous Waste Management

i. Scientific disposal of hazardous waste through collection, storage, packaging, transportation and treatment, in an environmentally sound manner minimises the adverse impact on human health and on the environment. The hazardous waste can be disposed at captive treatment facility installed by the individual waste generators or at Common Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs). There are 40 Common Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs) available in 17 States/UTs.

ii. Hazardous waste as lead acid battery scraps, used oil, waste oil, spent catalyst etc. and other waste such as waste tyres, paper waste, metal scrap etc. are used as raw material by the industries involved in recycling of such waste and as supplementary resource for material and energy recovery. Accordingly, it is always preferable to utilise such waste through recycling, or for resource recovery to avoid disposal through landfill or incineration. There are about 1080 registered recyclers; 47 cement plants permitted for co-processing; and about 108 industries permitted for utilisation of hazardous waste.

5. Problems of unscientific disposal of Hazardous and other waste

Unscientific disposal of hazardous and other waste through burning or incineration leads to emission of toxic fumes comprising of Dioxins & Furans, Mercury, heavy metals, causing air pollution and associated health-related problems.Disposal in water bodies, or in municipal dumps leads to toxic releases due to leaching in land and water entailing into degradation of soil and water quality.The workers employed in such unscientific practices suffer from neurological disorders, skin diseases, genetic defects, cancer etc.Hence, there is a need for systematic management of hazardous and other waste in an environmentally sound manner by way of prevention, minimisation, re-use, recycling, recovery, utilisation including co-processing and safe disposal of waste.

6. Consultation process for new Hazardous and Other Waste Rules

Draft Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules were published in July, 2015 inviting suggestions and objections. 473 suggestions/ objections were received from Government organisations, institutions and private individuals. Draft rules were shared with industry associations, Central Government ministries and State Governments. Stakeholders’ consultation meetings were organised in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru. A working group comprising technical and subject experts examined all the suggestions. Based on the recommendations of the Working Group, the Ministry has published the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Enhancement of Entry Fee at Indian Monuments

It has been decided to enhance the entry fee at 116 Centrally protected ticketed monuments under Archaeological Survey of India. The enhancement comes after a period of more than 15 years as the last increase took place in 2000.  The fee has been revised after calling for comments/suggestions from general public and in consultation with Ministry of Tourism, Tour Operators and Travel Associations.  The enhanced rates are at par with entry fee at monuments abroad.  The revised entry fee structure is as under:

Type of Visitor Existing entry fee Revised entry fee (w.e.f. 01.04.2016 Type of monuments
citizens of India and visitors from SAARC, visitors from BIMSTEC Countries and overseas citizens of          India Rs.10/- Rs.30/-

per head

World Heritage Monument
others (All Nationals other than from countries mentioned above) Rs.250/- Rs.500/-

per head

World Heritage Monument
citizens of India and visitors from SAARC countries, visitors from BIMSTEC Countries and overseas citizens of          India Rs.5/- Rs.15/-

per head

Other monument
others (All Nationals other than from countries mentioned above) Rs.100/- Rs.200/-

per head

Other monument

Primarily with the aim to enhance the tourism sector, a decision has also been taken to provide better facilities to tourists coming to ASI monuments. Accordingly better facilities in the form of free bottled water, wi-fi connectivity, mementoes and CDs with pictures and films of monuments would be offered to tourists purchasing high value tickets @ Rs 750/ and Rs 300/- at World Heritage monuments and Other Ticketed monuments respectively. This would also generate additional revenue for the exchequer. Further, separate queue would be provided for ticket holders of Rs.750/-, Rs.500/-, Rs.300/- and Rs.200/- for ensuring smooth entry to the monument.

The revised rates shall be effective from 01.04.2016

PIB press release dated 1st April, 2016

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Online rectification of income tax orders

Income-tax Act provides the taxpayer with an option to seek rectification of mistakes apparent from record under section 154 of the Act. The e-filing portal of the Income Tax Department provides the utility for online filing and tracking of rectification requests. Taxpayers who are not satisfied with the outcome of processing of their Income Tax Return by the Centralized Processing Centre, Bengaluru can avail of the facility of online filing and tracking of rectification requests available on https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in.

In case of any mistake in data entry of Tax payment or TDS details, taxpayer can select the “Rectification Request Type->Taxpayer is correcting data for Tax Credit mismatch only” and the use the option of pre-filling the correct details for the relevant Assessment Year while submitting the rectification request.

In case of data entry mistake in any other Schedule or omission of any details, taxpayer can select the option “Taxpayer is correcting Data in Rectification” and the reason for seeking rectification.

In any other case taxpayer can select the option “No further Data Correction Required, Reprocess the case” where the mistake in processing may have occurred due to non-reporting of TDS by deductor etc.

A detailed user manual for filing online rectification is available at:http://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/eFiling/Portal/StaticPDF/Rectifcation_Manual.pdf?0.08833787460862363.

With this utility a taxpayer can also the monitor the status of disposal of rectification request.

PIB Press Release dated 1st April, 2016

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Revised child fare in Railways

Ministry of Railways has decided to revise the child fare rule. Under the revised provision, full adult fare will be charged for children of age 5 years and under 12 years of age if for whom full separate berth/seat (in reserved class) is sought at the time of reservation. However, in case full separate berth/seat is not sought for the children of age 5 years and under 12 years of age at the time of reservation,  then half of the adult fare shall continue to be charged subject to the minimum distance for charging.

This revised child fare rule has been made applicable for travel from 21st April, 2016 onwards. Advance booking of reserved tickets for children under this revised rule has already started in December 2015 for journey date of 21st April, 2016 onwards.

While filling up reservation form, the passenger can indicate their option for requirement of fullberth/seat for child or not.

There is no change in the rule for child fare of unreserved tickets i.e. fare for children of 5-12 yearsfor unreserved tickets shall continue to be half of the adult fare subject to the minimum distance for charging.

Children under five years of age will continue to be carried free (without berth) in case of bothreserved and unreserved classes.

PIB press release dated 31st March, 2016

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Indian intellectual property panorama

A single window interface for information on Intellectual Property and guidance on leveraging it for competitive advantage. That is what the Indian IP Panorama, released by the Government of India today, offers. The portal seeks to increase awareness and build sensitivity towards IP, among stakeholders in the SME sector, academia and researchers. The Indian IP Panorama can be accessed here: http://ict-ipr.in/index.php/ip-panorama

The Indian IP Panorama is a customized version of IP Panorama Multimedia toolkit, developed by World Intellectual Property Organization, Korean Intellectual Property Office and Korea Invention Promotion Association. The toolkit has been adapted to cater to SMEs and start-ups, especially in the ICTE sector of India, based on an agreement signed between WIPO and DeitY. The Indian IP Panorama is thus a customized version of WIPO’s original product and is in accordance with Indian IP laws, standards, challenges and needs of the Indian ICTE sector.

The following five modules of the Indian IP Panorama have been released today:

  1. “Importance of IP for SMEs”,
  2. “Trademark”,
  3. “Industrial design”,
  4. “Invention and Patent” and
  5. “Patent Information”

The Indian IP Panorama has been developed under the aegis of Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Government of India by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), in close coordination with the Indian IP office.

Besides Secretary, DIPP Mr. Ramesh Abhishek who released the Panorama, Mr. Francis Gurry, Director General, World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) was also present on the occasion.

A survey of the Madrid Protocol usage by the Indian industry and a report on “Marketing Campaign in India for International Registration of Trade Marks”, was also released today. The survey was conducted and the report prepared by IIM Bangalore, in cooperation with DIPP, as part of a study funded by WIPO. The study will help the Indian industry to take advantage of the Madrid system.

Background

India is a member of WIPO and party to several treaties administered by WIPO. Recognizing that the strategic use of intellectual property could contribute significantly to the national development objectives of India, DIPP entered into an MoU with WIPO on 13th November 2009. The Indian IP office has been recognised as an International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (as in force from October 15, 2013). It may be recalled that a leading Indian consumer electronics company, Micromax Informatics Limited was recognized with the 1.25 millionth international trademark under WIPO’s Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks.

India acceded to Madrid Protocol for the International Registration of Marks at WIPO on July 8, 2013. The Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks (Madrid system) offers trademark owners a cost effective, user friendly and streamlined means of protecting and managing their trademark portfolio internationally.

PIB press release dated 31st March, 2016

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Start-up India portal and mobile app

PIB press release dated 31st March, 2016

The Startup India portal http://startupindia.gov.in, and mobile app have been launched by Secretary, DIPP, Mr. Ramesh Abhishek in New Delhi today.

The key features of the portal and app are the following:

  • Information Availability: The portal and mobile app provide up-to- date information on various notifications/ circulars issued by various Government ministries/ departments, towards creation of a conducive ecosystem for Startups. The portal and mobile app provide information regarding incubators and funding agencies recognized for the purpose of recommending Startups (as part of Startup recognition application). A comprehensive list of FAQs is also available to help Startups, Incubators and Funding Agencies use the portal and mobile app more effectively.
  • Startup India Hub: The Startup India Hub, which has been established within Invest India, will be a single point of contact for the entire Startup ecosystem which would enable exchange of knowledge. The Hub will work in a hub and spoke model with Governments, VCs, Angel Funds, Incubators, Mentors, etc. It will assist Startups through their lifecycle, on all aspects, such as providing mentorship, incubator facilities, IPR support, funding etc. The Hub will be operational from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM on working days and can be reached via the toll free number: 1800115565 or the email ID: dipp-startups@nic.in
  • Application for Startup Recognition: Entities that fulfil the criteria as per the definition of “Startup” and are incorporated/ registered in India, can obtain recognition as a “Startup” to avail various benefits listed in the Startup India Action Plan. The process of recognition is simple and user friendly and involves a single page application form that a user can fill either through a web interface or through mobile app. Formats of the recommendation/ support letters that need to be attached as part of the application form have been published on the portal and mobile app.
  • Real Time Startup Recognition: A real time recognition certificate is provided to Startups on completion of the application process. A digital version of the final certificate of recognition is available for download, through the portal and mobile app. A request for certificate of eligibility for tax exemptions from Inter-ministerial Board will be made simultaneously by selection of a simple option.
  • Verification of Recognition Certificate: The certificate of recognition is verifiable through the portal and mobile app by entering the Startup Recognition/ Certificate Number.
  • Approval of Inter-Ministerial Board: DIPP has also setup an Inter-Ministerial Board to verify the eligibility of Startups opting to avail Tax and IPR related benefits and to provide a certificate of eligibility to innovative Startups.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized