Monthly Archives: February 2019

Maternity Benefit

The Ministry of Labour and Employment in the Govt. of India has vide its notification dated 29th January, 2019 amended Rule 16  of the Maternity Benefit (Mines & Circus) Rules, 1963.

The new Rule 16 reads as follows:

16.- (1) The employer of every mine & circus shall, on or before the 1st day of February in each year, upload unified annual return in Form X on the web portal of the Central Government in the Ministry of Labour and Employment giving information as to the particulars specified in respect of the preceding year: 

Provided that during inspection, the inspector may require the production of accounts, books, registers and other documents maintained in electronic form or otherwise.

(2) If the employer of a mine or circus to which the Act applies sells, abandons or discontinues the working of the mine or circus, then, he shall, within one month of the date of such sale or abandonment or four months of the date of such discontinuance, as the case may be, upload online, on the web portal of the Central Government in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, a further unified return in Form X referred to in sub-rule (1) in respect of the period between the end of the preceding year and the date of the sale, abandonment or discontinuance.’.

What is unified annual return is not specified or defined anywhere, but the Labour Ministry has carried out similar amendments to 7 legislations.

It is not also clear from when it is effective, because the notification is dated 29th January, 2019 and it requires the establishment to file a return on or before 1st February every year. So it would be practically impossible to collate all the information and file the return in just one day!!!

The circus industry is more or less moribund across India, there are hardly any circuses left in town. So don’t know what purpose this will serve to that sector. Mines hardly employ any women on their rolls so again the purpose of having a maternity benefit act for mine sector seems hardly to be a great idea. Better idea would have been to scrap this legislation altogether.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Minimum Wages

The Ministry of Labour and Employment in the Govt. of India has vide its notification dated 29th January, 2019 amended Rule 21(4A)  of the Minimum Wages (Central) Rules, 1950.

The new Rule 21(4A) reads as follows:

4A.- Every employer shall, on or before the 1st day of February in each year, upload unified annual return in Form III on the web portal of the Central Government in the Ministry of Labour and Employment giving information as to the particulars specified in respect of the preceding year: 

Provided that during inspection, the inspector may require the production of accounts, books, registers and other documents maintained in electronic form or otherwise.”

What is unified annual return is not specified or defined anywhere, but the Labour Ministry has carried out similar amendments to 7 legislations.

It is not also clear from when it is effective, because the notification is dated 29th January, 2019 and it requires the establishment to file a return on or before 1st February every year. So it would be practically impossible to collate all the information and file the return in just one day!!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Payment of Bonus

The Ministry of Labour and Employment in the Govt. of India has vide its notification dated 29th January, 2019 amended Rule 5 of the Payment of Bonus Rules, 1975.

The new Rule 5 reads as follows:

5. Annual return.- Every employer shall, on or before the 1st day of February in each year, upload unified annual return in Form D on the web portal of the Central Government in the Ministry of Labour and Employment giving information as to the particulars specified in respect of the preceding year: 

Provided that during inspection, the inspector may require the production of accounts, books, registers and other documents maintained in electronic form or otherwise.”

What is unified annual return is not specified or defined anywhere, but the Labour Ministry has carried out similar amendments to 7 legislations.

It is not also clear from when it is effective, because the notification is dated 29th January, 2019 and it requires the establishment to file a return on or before 1st February every year. So it would be practically impossible to collate all the information and file the return in just one day!!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Digital Transactions

RBI has vide its notification dated 31st January, 2019 provided for an Ombudsman scheme for redressal of complaints against deficiency of services related to digital transactions. All system participants defined under Ombudsman Scheme shall come within the ambit of the Scheme and shall comply with the provisions of Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions 

The RBI notification can be found here

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Commencement of Business

MCA has vide the Companies Ordinance 2019 which has been promulgated on 14th January, 2019 introduced a new section 10A in the Companies Act, 2013 which requires that every company incorporated after the above date and having share capital shall not commence business nor exercise its borrowing powers unless it has filed a declaration within 180 days from the date of incorporation and also filed document pertaining to its registered office.

There is the penalty of Rs.50,000 on the company and Rs.1000 per day on each officer in default subject to a maximum of Rs.100,000/-

Where the aforesaid declaration has not been filed within 180 days of the date of incorporation, then the Registrar may, where he is of the opinion, that the company is not carrying on any business or operations, start proceedings to remove the name of the company from its records. Of course the penalty clause will still be applicable.

Form INC-20A is the form which has been introduced by the MCA and the only mandatory documentation required is the proof that the subscriber has paid in his subscription money for the value of shares which he has agreed to subscribe via the memorandum of association. A copy of the cheque issued by the subscriber and a copy of the bank statement showing the credit in the company’s bank account should suffice for the purpose. Which also means that the bank account can be opened by the company but actual business like invoicing etc. cannot commence until this declaration has been filed.

Originally this provision was introduced vide Companies Amendment Ordinance 2018 w.e.f  2nd November, 2018 but this 2019 Ordinance replaces the old one.

So one more compliance for a company after its incorporation in India.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Insider Trading

SEBI has vide an amendment dated 21st January, 2019 amended the clause 7(1) of the SEBI (Prohibition of Insider Trading) REgulations 2015.

Clause 7(1) of the PIT Regulations refers to initial disclosure by every promoter, KMP and Director of every company whose securities are listed on a stock exchange, they are required to disclose his holding of securities in the company as on the date of the regulations coming into force. The initial disclosure was required to be done within 30 days of the regulations coming into force.

Now vide this amendment, which was with effect from 21st January, 2019, “member of the promoter group” is also included in the list of persons who are required to give their initial disclosures.

Now the meaning of “promoter group” is defined in the SEBI (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) REgulations, 2018. (ICDR Regulations).

As per the said ICDR regulations, “promoter group” includes

i) the promoter;

ii) an immediate relative of the promoter (i.e. any spouse of that person, or any parent, brother, sister or child of the person or of the spouse); and

iii) in case promoter is a body corporate:

A) a subsidiary or holding company of such body corporate;

B) any body corporate in which the promoter holds twenty per cent. or more of the equity share capital; and/or any body corporate which holds twenty per cent. or more of the equity share capital of the promoter;

C) any body corporate in which a group of individuals or companies or combinations thereof acting in concert, which hold twenty per cent. or more of the equity share capital in that body corporate and such group of individuals or companies or combinations thereof also holds twenty per cent. or more of the equity share capital of the issuer and are also acting in concert;

and iv) in case the promoter is an individual:

A) any body corporate in which twenty per cent. or more of the equity share capital is held by the promoter or an immediate relative of the promoter or a firm or Hindu Undivided Family in which the promoter or any one or more of their relative is a member;

B) any body corporate in which a body corporate as provided in (A) above holds twenty per cent. or more, of the equity share capital; and

(C) any Hindu Undivided Family or firm in which the aggregate share of the promoter and their relatives is equal to or more than twenty per cent. of the total capital;

v) all persons whose shareholding is aggregated under the heading “shareholding of the promoter group”:

Provided that a financial institution, scheduled bank, foreign portfolio investor other than Category III foreign portfolio investor, mutual fund, venture capital fund, alternative investment fund, foreign venture capital investor, insurance company registered with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India or any other category as specified by the Board from time to time, shall not be deemed to be promoter group merely by virtue of the fact that twenty per cent. or more of the equity share capital of the promoter is held by such person or entity:

Provided further that such financial institution, scheduled bank, foreign portfolio investor other than Category III foreign portfolio investor, mutual fund, venture capital fund, alternative investment fund and foreign venture capital investor insurance company registered with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India or any other category as specified by the Board from time to time shall be treated as promoter group for the subsidiaries or companies promoted by them or for the mutual fund sponsored by them;

So members of the promoter group have to give their initial disclosures in the form prescribed within 30 days of the amendment coming into force i.e. within 30 days of 21st January, 2019 or on or before 19th February, 2019.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Interim Budget

PIB press release dated 1st February 2019

The key highlights of the Interim Budget 2019-20 presented by the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal in Parliament today are as follows:

 

New Announcements

v  Farmers

·         12 crore small and marginal farmers to be provided with assured yearly income of Rs. 6000 per annum under PM-KISAN

o   Outlay of Rs. 75,000 crore for FY 2019-20 with additional Rs. 20,000 crore in RE 2018-19

·         Outlay for Rashtriya Gokul mission increased to Rs 750 crore

·         Rashtriya Kamdhenu Ayog  to be setup for sustainable genetic up-gradation of the Cow resources

·         New separate Department of Fisheries for welfare of 1.5 crore fishermen

·         2% interest subvention to Farmers for Animal husbandry and Fisheries activities; additional 3% in case of timely repayment.

·         Interest subvention of 2% during disaster will now be provided for the entire period of reschedulement of loan

 

v  Labour

·         Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan scheme to ensure fixed monthly pension to 10 crore unorganized sector workers

o   Rs 3000 per month after 60 years of age with an affordable contribution of only Rs 100/55 per month

 

v  Health

·         22nd AIIMS to be setup in Haryana

 

v  MGNREGA

·         Rs. 60, 000 crore allocation for MGNREGA in BE 2019-20

 

v  Direct Tax proposals

·         Income upto Rs. 5 lakh exempted from Income Tax

·         More than Rs. 23,000 crore tax relief to 3 crore middle class taxpayers

·         Standard Deduction to be raised to Rs. 50,000 from Rs. 40,000

·         TDS threshold to be raised from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 40,000 on interest earned on bank/post office deposits

·         Existing rates of income tax to continue

·         Tax exempted on notional rent on a second self-occupied house

·         Housing and real estate sector to get boost-

o   TDS threshold for deduction of tax on rent to be increased from Rs. 1,80,000 to Rs. 2,40,000

o   Benefit of rollover of capital gains increased from investment in one residential house to two residential houses for capital gains up to Rs. 2 crore.

o   Tax benefits for affordable housing extended till 31st March, 2020 under Section 80-IBA of Income Tax Act

o   Tax exemption period on notional rent, on unsold inventories, extended from one year to two years

 

v  Fiscal Programme

·         Fiscal deficit pegged at 3.4% of GDP for 2019-20

·         Target of 3% of fiscal deficit to be achieved by 2020-21.

·         Fiscal deficit brought down to 3.4% in 2018-19 RE from almost 6% seven years ago

·         Total expenditure increased by over 13% to Rs.27,84,200 crore in 2019-20 BE

·         Capital Expenditure for 2019-20 BE estimated at Rs. 3,36,292 crore

·         Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) allocation increased to Rs. 3,27,679 crore in BE 2019-20

·         National Education Mission allocation increased by about 20% to Rs. 38,572 crore in BE 2019-20

·         Allocation for Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) increased by over 18% to Rs. 27,584 crore in BE 2019-20

·         Substantial increase in allocation for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes –

o   Allocation for SCs increased by 35.6% – from Rs. 56,619 crore in BE 2018-19 to Rs. 76,801 crore in BE for 2019-20

o   Allocation for the STs increased by 28% – from 39,135 crore in BE 2018-19 to Rs. 50,086 crore in 2019-20 BE

·         Government confident of achieving the disinvestment target of 80,000 crore

·         Focus now on debt consolidation along with fiscal deficit consolidation programme

 

v  Poor and Backward Classes

·         “First right on the resources of country is that of the poor”: FM

·         25% additional seats in educational institutions to meet the 10% reservation for the poor

·         Targeted expenditure to bridge urban-rural divide & to improve quality of life in villages

·         All willing households to be provided electricity connections by March 2019

 

v  North East

·         Allocation to be increased by 21% to Rs. 58,166 crore in 2019-20 BE over 2018-19 BE

·         Arunachal Pradesh came on the air map recently

·         Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram came on India’s rail map for the first time

·         Container cargo movement through improved navigation capacity of the Brahmaputra

 

v  Vulnerable sections

·         A new committee under NITI Ayog to identify all the remaining De-notified nomadic and semi-Nomadic tribes.

·         New Welfare development Board under Ministry of social justice and empowerment for development and welfare of De-notified nomadic and semi nomadic tribes

 

v  Defence

·         Defence budget to cross Rs 3,00,000 crore for the first time ever

 

v  Railways

·         Capital support of Rs.64,587 crore proposed in 2019-20 (BE) from the budget

·         Overall capital expenditure programme to be of Rs. 1,58,658 crore

·         Operating Ratio expected to improve from 98.4% in 2017-18

to 96.2% in 2018-19 (RE) and

to 95% in 2019- 20 (BE)

 

v  Entertainment Industry

·         Indian filmmakers  to get access to Single window clearance as well for ease of shooting films

·         Regulatory provisions to rely more on self-declaration

·         To introduce anti-camcording provisions in the Cinematograph Act to control piracy

 

v  MSME and Traders

·         2% interest subvention on an incremental loan of  Rs 1 crore for GST registered SMEs

·         Atleast 3% of the 25% sourcing for the Government undertakings will be from women owned SMEs

·         Renewed Focus on Internal trade ; DIPP renamed to Department for Promotion of Industries and Internal trade

 

v  Digital Villages

·         The Government to make 1 lakh villages into Digital Villages over next five years

 

v  Other Announcement(s)

·         New National Artificial Intelligence portal to support National Program on Artificial Intelligence

Achievements during 2014-19

v  State of the Economy

·         India universally recognized as a bright spot of the global economy during last five years

·         “Country witnessed its best phase of macro-economic stability during 2014-19”, says FM

·         India is now the 6th largest economy in the world from being the 11thlargest in 2013-14

·         Annual average GDP growth during 2014-19 higher than any government since 1991

·         Government has broken inflation’s back from backbreaking inflation during 2009-14: FM

·         Average inflation down to 4.6%, lower than during any other Government

·         Inflation in December 2018 down to 2.19% only

·         Fiscal deficit down to 3.4% in 2018-19 RE from the high of almost 6% seven years ago

·         CAD likely to be only 2.5% of GDP this year against a high of 5.6% six years ago

·         India attracted massive amount of FDI, worth $239 billion, during the last 5 years

·          “India is solidly back on track and marching towards growth and prosperity”, says FM

·         India becomes the fastest growing major economy in the world

·         Double-digit inflation contained and fiscal balance restored

·         Liberalization of FDI policy, allowing most FDI to come through the automatic route

 

v  Farmers

·         Assured MSP of minimum 50% to all 22 crops

·         Interest subvention doubled in last 5 years

·         Soil Health card, Neem coated Urea game changer in farm sector

 

v  Labor

·         Employment opportunities expanded ; EPFO membership increased by 2 crore

·         Minimum income for every category of workers increased by 42% in last 5 years

 

v  Poor and Backward Classes

·         10% reservation for the poor  in educational institutions and government jobs

·         Free electricity connection to every household under Saubhagya Yojana

·         World’s largest healthcare programme, Ayushman Bharat, for nearly 50 crore people

·         Aspirational Districts Programme for development in 115 most backward districts

·         Rs. 1,70,000 crore spent during 2018-19 for cheaper food grains to poor and middle class

·         143 crore LED bulbs provided in mission mode with the cooperation of private sector

·         Poor & middle class are saving Rs. 50, 000 crore p.a. in electricity bills due to LED bulbs

·         10 lakh patients benefited from free treatment under Ayushman Bharat

·         Jan Aushadhi Kendras providing medicines at affordable prices to poor and middle class

·         14 out of 21 AIIIMS operating presently have been announced since 2014

·         Government tripled rural roads’ construction under the PMGSY

·         15.80 lakh habitations out of 17.84 lakh connected with pucca roads

·         Rs. 19,000 crore for PMGSY in BE 2019-20 against Rs. 15,500 crore in RE 2018-19

·         1.53 crore houses built under PM Awas Yojana during the 2014-18

 

v  Women development to women led development

·         6 crore free LPG gas connections provided under Ujjwala Yojna ; All 8 crore by next year

·         70% of MUDRA Loan availed by Women

·         Maternity leave extended to 26 weeks

·         Financial support for pregnant women under Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana

 

v  Youth

·         Over one crore youth trained under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikash Yojana

·         Self-employment boost through MUDRA, STAND-UP and START-UP India

 

v  MSME and Traders

·         Up-to Rs 1 crore loans can be availed in less than an hour

·         25%-28% is the average savings due to GeM (Government e-Market place)

 

v  Income Tax

·         Tax collections nearly doubled in five years- from Rs. 6.38 Lakh crore in 2013-14 to almost Rs. 12 lakh crore this year

·         80% growth in tax base- from 3.79 crore to 6.85 crore in five years

·         Tax administration streamlined- Last year, 99.54% of the income-tax returns accepted as were filed

·         Technology intensive project approved to improve assessee friendliness –In two years, returns to be processed in 24 hours and refunds issued simultaneously

·         Earlier benefits given to middle class-

o   Basic exemption limit increased from Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 2.5 lakh

o   Tax rate reduced from 10% to 5% for the tax slab of Rs. 2.5 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh

o   Standard deduction of Rs. 40,000 introduced for the salaried class

o   Deduction of savings under section 80C increased from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 1.5 lakh

o   Deduction of interest for self-occupied house property raised from Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh

·         Special benefits and incentives already given to small businesses and startups-

o   Overall compliance processes simplified.

o   Threshold for presumptive taxation of business raised from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 2 crore

o   Benefit of presumptive taxation extended for the first time to small professionals fixing threshold limit at Rs. 50 lakh

o   Presumptive profit rate reduced from 8% to 6% to promote a less cash economy

o   Tax rate for about 99% companies reduced to 25%

 

v  GST

·         GST made India a common market

·         GST led to increased tax base, higher collections and ease of trade

·         Inter-state movements now faster, more efficient, and hassle free

·         Responsive and sensitive reduction of tax rates – Most items of daily use now in the 0% or 5% tax slab

·         Relieving the businesses and service providers-

o   Exemptions from GST for small businesses doubled from Rs. 20 lakh to Rs. 40 lakh

o   Small businesses having turnover up to Rs. 1.5 crore pay only 1% flat rate and file one annual return only

o   Small service providers with turnover upto Rs.50 lakhs can opt for composition scheme and pay GST at 6% instead of 18%

o   Soon, businesses comprising over 90% of GST payers to be allowed to file quarterly return

·         Encouraging GST revenue trends – The average monthly tax collection in the current year is Rs. 97,100 crore per month as compared to Rs. 89,700 crore per month in the first year

 

v  Infrastructure

·         Civil Aviation – UDAN Scheme

o   Number of Operational Airports crossed 100

o   Latest: Pakyong airport in Sikkim

o   Domestic Passenger traffic doubled in last 5 years

 

·         Roads

o   India is the fastest highway developer in the world

o   27 kms of highways built each day

o   Stuck projects completed – Eastern Peripheral Highway around Delhi

– Bogibeel rail-cum-road bridge in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh

 

·         Waterways

o   Flagship programme of Sagarmala along the coastal areas

o   For first time, container freight movement started on Kolkata to Varanasi inland waterways

 

·         Railways

o   ‘Safest year’ for railways in its history

o   All Unmanned Level Crossings on broad gauge network eliminated.

o   Semi high-speed “Vande Bharat Express” introduced – first indigenously developed and manufactured

 

v  Climate Change

·         International Solar Alliance

o   To promote renewable energy

o   First treaty based international inter-governmental organisation headquartered in India

o   Installed solar generation capacity grown over ten times in last five years

o   Now creating lakhs of new age jobs

 

v  Digital India Revolution

·         More than 3 lakh Common Service Centres (CSCs) exist to deliver services to the citizens

·         India now leading the world in the consumption of mobile data

·         Monthly consumption of mobile data increased by over 50 times in the last five years

·         Under Make in India, mobile and parts manufacturing companies increased from 2 to more than 268 providing huge job opportunities

 

v  Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) and Direct Benefit Transfer

·         In the last five years, nearly 34 crore Jan Dhan bank accounts opened

·         Aadhaar now near universally implemented

·         Ensure the poor and middle class receive the benefits of Government schemes directly in their bank accounts by eliminating middlemen

 

v  Customs and trading across borders

·         Customs duties on 36 capital goods abolished

·         Digitization of import and export transactions

·         RFID technology to improve logistics

 

v  Steps against corruption

·         Government walked the talk on corruption and ushered in a new era of transparency: FM

·         RERA and Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act have brought transparency in real estate

·         The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 to help confiscate economic offenders

·         Government conducted transparent auction of natural resources such as coal & spectrum

 

v  Drive against Black money

·         Undisclosed income of about Rs 1,30,000 crore brought under tax through initiatives like Black money Law,  Fugitive Criminal offenders Act, Demonetisation etc.

·         Benami assets worth Rs 6,900 crore have been attached

·         18% growth in Direct tax

 

v  Banking Reforms and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC)

·         The IBC has institutionalized a resolution-friendly mechanism

·         Government has stopped the culture of “phone banking”: FM

·         Government adopted 4Rs approach of recognition, resolution, re-capitalization & reforms

·         Government has implemented measures to ensure ‘Clean Banking’

·         Government has already recovered Rs. 3 lakh crore in favor of banks and creditors

·         Government has invested Rs. 2.6 lakh crore for recapitalization of public sector banks

 

v  Cleanliness

·         Government launched Swachh Bharat Mission as a tribute to 150 years of Gandhi Ji

·         FM thanks 130 crore Indians for translating Swachh Bharat into a national revolution

·         India has achieved 98% rural sanitation coverage

v  5.45 lakh villages have been declared “Open Defecation Free”

v  Defence

·         OROP under implementation in full spirit with Rs 35,000 crore already disbursed

·         Military pay service hiked

 

v  Other achievements

·         Government put a stop to questionable practices of hiding high NPAs

·         Swachh Bharat Mission as the world’s largest behavioral change movement

 

Key message in the Interim Budget 2019-20

·         Moving towards realizing a ‘New India’ by 2022 –

o   Clean and healthy India with universal access to toilets, water and electricity to all

o   An India where Farmers’ income would have doubled

o   Ample opportunities to youth and women to fulfil their dreams

o   An India free from terrorism, communalism, casteism, corruption and nepotism

 

Vision for the next Decade

 

·         Foundation for India’s growth and development laid in the past 5 years

·         Poised to become a Five Trillion Dollar Economy in the next five years

·         Aspire to become a Ten Trillion Dollar Economy in the next 8 years thereafter

 

Ten dimensions of Vision for India of 2030

 

India would be a modern, technology driven, high growth, equitable and transparent society

 

1.      To build physical as well as social infrastructure and to provide ease of living

2.      To create a Digital India, digitize government processes with leaders from youth

3.      Making India pollution free by leading transport revolution with Electric Vehicles and focus on Renewables

4.      Expanding rural industrialisation using modern digital technologies to generate massive employment

5.      Clean Rivers, safe drinking water to all Indians and efficient use of water through micro-irrigation

6.      Besides scaling up of Sagarmala, Coastline and Ocean waters powering India’s development and growth

7.      Aim at our space programme – Gaganyaan, India becoming the launch-pad of satellites for the World and placing an Indian astronaut into space by 2022

8.      Making India self-sufficient in food, exporting to the world to meet their food needs and producing food in the most organic way

9.      A healthy India via Ayushman Bharat with women having equal rights and concern for their safety and empowerment

10.  Transforming India into a Minimum Government Maximum Governance nation with pro-active and responsible bureaucracy

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized