Monthly Archives: February 2020

The Bone Garden

bone

A page turner from Tess Gerritsen my first one of this author. Julia is a divorcee and buys a new house in rural Massachusetts and while doing gardening she discovers a human skull. Forensic discovers that it is an almost 150 years old female who was probably murdered. The story then moves to the 1830 Aurnia Tate is about to give birth, she has her sister Rose with her, hospital is plagued with bed fever. Meanwhile Norris Marshall is pursuing his medical studies, the plot moves fast, there are a series of murders, Rose is on the run and Norris becomes suspect. The narrative juxtaposes from the 1830s to the present and one after another events take place fast. The end is a bit of anti climax. Goodreads 3/5

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saving the world one algorithm

This edition of The Age of A.I. looks at using A.I. to save wildlife and to catch poachers in time before they kill the wildlife, for which image recognition is the key. Climate change affecting the world due to food habits, eating meat, animals dispersing methane gas into the atmosphere. How to create meat based foods from plants, that tastes like meat but is not actually meat. Can A.I. save the world in terms of predicting earthquakes, tsunami, typhoon etc. Well in the field of earthquakes at least some research is going on to predict earthquakes before it happens. Using A.I. for agriculture, in terms of predicting the output in a particular region can save lives because then efforts can be made to grow alternate crops. Lack of food leads to lot of problems including riots. If A.I.  can predict famine then lots of life will be save. Machine learning, image recognition, predictive modeling are some of the tools A.I. uses to save the world one algorithm at a time.

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mutual funds

SEBI circular dated 26th February, 2020 allowing investors to purchase mutual funds directly from the stock exchanges instead of through the distributors.

https://www.sebi.gov.in/legal/circulars/feb-2020/facilitating-transaction-in-mutual-fund-schemes-through-the-stock-exchange-infrastructure_46093.html

Subject: Facilitating transaction in Mutual Fund schemes through the Stock
Exchange Infrastructure

1. SEBI vide its Circular no. CIR/MRD/DSA/32/2013 dated October 04, 2013, and
CIR/MRD/DSA/33/2014 dated December 09, 2014 had permitted mutual fund distributors
to use recognised stock exchanges’ infrastructure to purchase and redeem mutual fund
units directly from Mutual Fund / Asset Management Companies.
2. Subsequently, SEBI vide its Circular no. SEBI/HO/MRD/DSA/CIR/P/2016/113 dated
October 19, 2016 allowed SEBI Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) to use
infrastructure of the recognised stock exchanges to purchase and redeem mutual fund
units directly from Mutual Fund/ Asset Management Companies on behalf of their
clients, including direct plans.
3. In order to further increase the reach of this platform, it has been decided to allow
investors to directly access infrastructure of the recognised stock exchanges to
purchase and redeem mutual fund units directly from Mutual Fund/ Asset
Management Companies.

4. The recognised stock exchanges, clearing corporations and depositories may make
necessary amendment to their existing byelaws, rules and/or regulations, wherever
required.
5. This circular is issued in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 11(1)
of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act 1992, read with Section 10
of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 to protect the interests of
investors in securities and to promote the development of, and to regulate the
securities market.
6. This circular is available on SEBI website at http://www.sebi.gov.in at “Legal
Framework→Circulars”.

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CARO 2020

MCA has notified the new CARO 2020 which will be in effect for companies whose financial year starts from 1st April, 2019. The salient features of CARO 2020 as compared to CARO 2016 is given below.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS BETWEEN CARO 2016 AND CARO 2020:-

 

 

CARO 2016

 

 

CARO 2020

1.      It is applicable to every company including a foreign company as defined in section 2 sub section 42 of Companies Act, 2013. However, MCA has relaxed the applicability of CARO 2016 to private companies by increasing the threshold limit and it shall not be applicable to the following classes of companies as follows:-

·         Banking Company.

·         Insurance Company.

·         Section 8 Company.

·         One Person Company.

·         Small Company as per section 2 (85) of Companies Act, 2013.

 

2.      It is to be noted that the following classes of companies shall not be treated as a small company:-

·         Holding or Subsidiary Company.

·         Section 8 Company.

·         A company or body corporate governed by any special act.

 

3.      In CARO 2016, there are 16 reporting clauses in paragraph 3.

 

4.      Unlike in CARO 2016 normal reporting is required with respect to fixed assets.

 

5.      In CARO 2016 there is nothing mention regarding any reporting is to be made for any proceedings have been initiated or pending under the Benami Transaction Act, 1988.

 

6.      As per CARO 2016 no reporting is required to be made with respect to working capital sanctioned by banks or financial institutions in excess of 5 Crore.

 

 

7.      CARO 2016 does not states about any reporting is to be done with respect of deemed deposits as only states about normal deposits.

 

8.      In CARO 2016 no reporting is required to be made in respect to transaction not recorded in the books of account under income tax proceedings.

 

9.      Under CARO 2016 just a normal reporting is required to be made with respect to any default is being made with respect to repayment of loan or borrowings.

 

10.  CARO 2016 does not state anything with regards to provide reporting on internal audit system.

 

11.  In CARO 2016 no reporting is required to be made in case of cash losses incurred and also on resignation of statutory auditors.

 

12.  Unlike in CARO 2016 no reporting is required to be made for any unspent CSR amount is kept with company as per Schedule VII.

 

13.  In CARO 2016, there is no need of reporting required for any qualification or adverse remarks given by the auditor.

 

 

1.      It is also applicable to every company including a foreign company as defined in section 2 sub section 42 of Companies Act, 2013.

 

2.      Once CARO 2020 come into force from the date of publication in official gazette then it shall not be applicable to the following classes of companies as follows:-

·      Banking Company.

·      Insurance Company.

·      Section 8 Company.

·      One Person Company.

·      Private Company not being a subsidiary or holding company of a public company having:-

ü  Paid up capital and reserves and surplus up to 1 Crore as on balance sheet date,

ü  Total borrowings not more than 1 Crore from bank or financial institution during the financial year and

ü  Total revenue as per schedule III up to 10 Crore during the financial year.

 

3. Whereas, in CARO 2020 there are 21 reporting clauses in paragraph 3.

 

4.  In CARO 2020 addition to normal reporting which is required with respect to fixed assets, additional reporting is also required in respect of title deeds of immovable properties and property, plant and equipment.

 

5. As per CARO 2020 a new reporting is required to be made with respect to any proceedings have been initiated or pending under the Benami Transaction Act, 1988.

 

6. Under CARO 2020 reporting that is required to be made in respect of providing any guarantee or security or granting any loans or advances to companies, LLP or to any parties.

 

7. But CARO 2020 states about reporting are to be done with respect of deemed deposits.

 

8. In CARO 2020 new reporting is to be made in respect to transaction not recorded in the books of account under income tax proceedings.

 

9.      Under CARO 2020 more comprehensive reporting is required to be made if any default is being made with respect to repayment of loan or borrowings.

 

10.  However, CARO 2020 states that reporting is to be made on in case of internal audit system.

 

11.  Also CARO 2020 states that reporting is required to be made in respect of cash losses incurred and also on resignation of statutory auditors.

 

12.  But under CARO 2020 reporting is required to be made for any unspent CSR amount is kept with company as per Schedule VII.

 

13.  Under CARO 2020 reporting is required to be made for any qualification or adverse remarks given by the auditor.

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SPICe+ webinar

Clarifications from MCA officials in the webinar held today on SPICe+ incorporation forms

Ministry of Corporate Affairs has notified dated 18th February, 2020

Regarding Companies (Incorporation) Amendment Rules, 2020.

Shall come into effect from 23rd February, 2020

MCA has introduce SPICe+ and AGILE-PRO for incorporation of a Company

Before Notification After Notification
Spice, MOA, AOA, Agile  – PDF based form Spice+, MOA, AOA, Agile-pro  – web based form
RUN Spice+ Part A
INC-9 – Draft document INC-9 – Auto populated pdf. from MCA portal
For incorporation – Spice and other linked forms are to be filled For incorporation – Spice+ Part B and other linked forms are to be filled
All respective forms – in download pdf. format Once SPICe+ is filled completely with all relevant details, the same would then have to be converted into pdf format, with just a click of the mouse button, for affixing DSCs
Features:-

–          Incorporation

–          DIN Allotment

–          Mandatory issue of PAN

–          Mandatory issue of TAN

–          Allotment of GSTIN (if so applied for)

Features:-

–          Incorporation

–          DIN Allotment

–          Mandatory issue of PAN

–          Mandatory issue of TAN

–          Mandatory issue of EPFO registration

–          Mandatory issue of ESIC registration

–          Mandatory issue of Profession Tax registration(Maharashtra)

–          Mandatory Opening of Bank Account for the Company and

–          Allotment of GSTIN (if so applied for)

 

 

Rest all procedure remains the same as per earlier only the form version has changed and format.

 

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nidhi company

MCA notification dated 14th February, 2020

  1. Rule 23A of Nidhi Rules, 2014, Every company referred to in clause (b) of rule 2 and every Nidhi incorporated under the Act, before the commencement of Nidhi (Amendment)Rules, 2019, shall also get itself declared as such in accordance with rule 3A within a period of one year from the date of its incorporation or within a period of six months Nine months from the date of commencement of Nidhi (Amendment) Rules, 2019, whichever is later provided that in case a company does not comply with the requirements of this rule, it shall not be allowed to file Form No. SH-7 (Notice to Registrar of any alteration of share capital) and Form PAS-3 (Return of Allotment).

 

  1. Rule 3A, of NIdhi Rules, 2014, Dectaration of Nidhis :- In the Form NDH-4 within Sixty days from the date of expiry of :-
  • One year from the date of its incorporation; or
  • the period up to which extension of time has been granted by the Regional Director.
  1. Clause (b) of Rule 2 of Nidhi Rules, 2014, every company functioning on the lines of a Nidhi company or Mutual Benefit Society but has either not applied for or has applied for and is awaiting notification to be a Nidhi or Mutual Benefit Society under sub-Section (1) of Section 620A of the Companies Act, 1956.
  2. What is a Nidhi company? : A nidhi company is a type of company in the Indian non-banking finance sector, recognized under section 406 of the Companies Act, 2013. Their core business is borrowing and lending money between their members. They are also known as Permanent Fund, Benefit Funds, Mutual Benefit Funds and Mutual Benefit Company. (source wikipedia)

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adjudication order on auditor

https://www.sebi.gov.in/enforcement/orders/feb-2020/adjudication-order-in-respect-of-vcg-and-co-and-vishal-chandra-gupta-in-the-matter-of-role-of-statutory-auditor-in-the-ipo-of-tarini-international-limited_46045.html

SEBI has passed an adjudication order in the matter of statutory auditors of Tarini International Limited for giving false and misleading certificate of utilisation of funds post a public issue. The issue was addressed in much exhaustive detail in the order and a fine of Rs.15 lakhs levied on the auditor. The onus on the auditors is very onerous and it behoves him to apply his mind 1000% to the matter and rely only on actual facts corroborated by documentary evidence and not rely on the management representation in this matter. It is not a matter to be taken lightly by the auditors. There should not be price cutting by auditors to secure such mandates as such job entails great responsibility.

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Mauritius – FATF grey list

SEBI press release dated 25th february 2020

Inclusion of Mauritius in the FATF list of “jurisdictions under increased monitoring”

The Financial Action Task Force on February 21, 2020, has placed Mauritius in the list of “jurisdictions under increased monitoring”, commonly referred to as the “grey list” and has stated the following:

“In February 2020, Mauritius made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and ESAAMLG to strengthen the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime. Since the completion of its MER in 2018, Mauritius has made progress on a number of its MER recommended actions to improve technical compliance and effectiveness, including amending the legal framework to require legal persons and legal arrangements to disclose of beneficial ownership information and improving the processes of identifying and confiscating proceeds of crimes. Mauritius will work to implement its action plan, including by: (1) demonstrating that the supervisors of its global business sector and DNFBPs implement risk-based supervision; (2) ensuring the access to accurate basic and beneficial ownership information by competent authorities in a timely manner; (3) demonstrating that LEAs have capacity to conduct money laundering investigations, including parallel financial investigations and complex cases; (4) implementing a risk based approach for supervision of its NPO sector to prevent abuse for TF purposes, and 5) demonstrating the adequate implementation of targeted financial sanctions through outreach and supervision.”

There have been apprehensions among market participants that whether inclusion of Mauritius in the ‘grey list’ would have an effect on the registration of FPIs from Mauritius.

SEBI (Foreign Portfolio Investors) Regulations, 2019 inter-alia states that an applicant is eligible to become a FPI if it is not resident in the country identified in the public statement of FATF as- i) a jurisdiction having a strategic Anti-Money Laundering or Combating the Financing of Terrorism deficiencies to which counter measures apply; or ii) a jurisdiction that has not made sufficient progress in addressing the deficiencies or has not committed to an action plan developed with the FATF to address the deficiencies. This condition was also in SEBI (Foreign Portfolio Investors) Regulations, 2014.

It is noted from FATF website that when a jurisdiction is placed under increased monitoring, it construes that the country has committed to resolve swiftly the identified strategic deficiencies within agreed timeframes and is subject to increased monitoring. The FATF does not call for the application of enhanced due diligence to be applied to these jurisdictions, but encourages its members to take into account this information in their risk analysis. The intermediaries should take note of the same.

Additionally, FATF identifies jurisdictions that have significant strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and financing of proliferation. For all such countries, the FATF calls on all members and urges all jurisdictions to apply enhanced due diligence, and in the most serious cases, countries are called upon to apply counter-measures to protect the international financial system.  This list is often referred to as the “black list”. It is mentioned in FATF website that this was previously called “Public Statement”.

Therefore, FPIs from Mauritius continue to be eligible for FPI Registration with increased monitoring as per FATF norms.

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SPICe+

As part of Government of India’s Ease of Doing Business (EODB) initiatives, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has notified a new Web Form christened ‘SPICe+’ (pronounced ‘SPICe Plus’) replacing the existing SPICe form. SPICe+ would offer 10 services by 3 Central Govt Ministries & Departments (Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Ministry of Labour & Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance) and One State Government (Maharashtra), thereby saving as many procedures, time and cost for Starting a Business in India and would be applicable for all new company incorporations.

Following are the features of the new Spice+ web form:

·         SPICe+ would be an integrated Web Form.

       ·         SPICe+ would have two parts viz.: Part A-for Name reservation for new companies and Part B offering a bouquet of services viz.

(i)                 Incorporation

(ii)               DIN allotment

(iii)             Mandatory issue of PAN

(iv)              Mandatory issue of TAN

(v)                Mandatory issue of EPFO registration

(vi)              Mandatory issue of ESIC registration

(vii)            Mandatory issue of Profession Tax registration(Maharashtra)

(viii)          Mandatory Opening of Bank Account for the Company and

(ix)              Allotment of GSTIN (if so applied for)

 

·           The new web form would facilitate On-screen filing and real time data validation for seamless incorporation of companies. For ensuring ease while filing, SPICe+ has been structured into various sections. Information once entered can be saved and modified.

 

·           Registration for EPFO and ESIC shall be mandatory for all new companies to be incorporated through SPICe+ and no EPFO & ESIC registration nos. shall be separately issued by the respective agencies.

 

·           Registration for Profession Tax shall also be mandatory for all new companies to be incorporated in the State of Maharashtra through SPICe+.

 

·           All new companies incorporated through SPICe+ would also be mandatorily required to apply for opening the company’s Bank account through the AGILE-PRO linked web form.

 

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The Gun-Slingin’ Gringo

macdonald

William Colt MacDonald is the master of the western genre, and boy he does not let you down with this thrilling gun-slingin tale of an American Dale Stephens who is broke and hungry meets up with a spanish hombre Pascal Santiago. Stephens saves Santiago for which he is all gratitude and then he needs help from Dale a.k.a. Gila Shadow in relocating his son from Mexico, there is money from bank loot, guns, lots of shooting, lots of killing, horse rides, typical western fare from the master of the genre. Goodreads 5/5

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Steve & Me

steve

Steve & Me is a loving biography of Steve Irwin, the world famous wildlife warrior and crocodile lover written by his widow Terri Irwin. It brilliantly portrays the life of Steve Irwin as a wildlife enthusiast (in fact, his whole family was), his passion for saving wildlife, his indefatigable energy, his family life, his love for his family and kids. Terri herself was a wildlife rehab expert when she fell in love with Steve and moved from Oregon to Australia to start another life as a conservation enthusiast with Steve. Beautifully narrated story with warmth and candor. Goodreads 5/5

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IDBI New Delhi half marathon

NEW DELHI

Finished the IDBI Federal Life Insurance New Delhi half marathon in a time of 2.19.20 hours. This is not my PB but the season’s best for sure, i ran a half on 26th jan in 2.29 hours and another one on 2nd Feb in 2.25 hours, so it is good to be better on each occasion.

New Delhi was cold, very cold in the wee hours, when we started and had to to do some warm ups to get the body warmed up. It was a flat route, good roads, narrow patch at one section between 3 to 4 kms, otherwise very broad roads, (many of the roads i did not recognize at all, being a Bombayite) but did cross through Subramaniam Bharti road, dr. Zakir Hussain road for sure, past the historic India gate. Lot of iconic buildings of course Delhi being the capital city has to have these. The enroute support was good, including medicals in the latter stages of the race. Challenge was to reach the venue and reach the hospital which was able to do with minimum challenge. There were a lot of runners on the road, which is good for Delhi’s health and lot of committed, serious runners as well. The event was flagged off by Sachin Tendulkar and it was heart warming to see the kind of love, affection and adulation for the little master even so many years after he has retired. He was still there when i came back, so that must have quite a serious effort on his part at all.

This more or less ends the season for me, what with the summer due to start shortly, focus will be on 10K races only for some time.

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travel in a Delhi metro

delhi metro

Yesterday i was in New Delhi to run the IDBI Federal Life Insurance Half Marathon. My hotel was in Defence Colony and i had to check out at 11.00 a.m. My flight from Terminal no. 3 was at 15.59 hours. So i had a lot of time between check out and flight time. So what do i do, i inquired from the hotel reception about the nearest metro station and the travel to the airport. He said i might have to change one line at least and the nearest station was South Ex, which i later realised was South Extension. I took an auto rickshaw to South Ex metro station (Rs.40) and then inquired about the metro lines to the airport. The guy at South Ex told me i had to change at INA and he took Rs.20/- from me and punched a ticket coupon. So i got in at South Ex and asked another guy about metro line to airport. He asked me which terminal i was scheduled to depart, and when i told him T-3, he quickly checked his app and told me to take the metro, get down at INA, which had the full name as Dilli Haat INA (though i don’t know what INA) stands for. The Delhi metro is huge by any standards, Mumbai metro is nowhere near its capacity. When i got down at INA i realsed there are multiples lines, there is a pink line, a yellow line, i think a blue line as well. Then i asked somebody else how to get to airport, he told me to take this line to New Delhi and then take another line to the airport. Again i don’t remember whether i went up or down, but under the ground Delhi metro is a different world altogether. i suspect they must have burrowed deep down to more than 15 floors level because each line has its own corridors, stair cases, escalators, office complex etc. From New Delhi metro, which i believe is also the culmination point for the New Delhi railway station as well, i had to take another airport express line (Rs.60) to the T-3. So this was a seating metro line, which had comfortable seats, place to keep your luggage etc. The distances between the stations were also huge like in Mumbai and unlike in metro where the stations are nearer to each other. So finally i reach the T-3 metro station, i had to climb through three levels of escalators to finally the T-3 terminus directly. Voila!! all inside Rs.80/-. Quite an experience.

PS: image used for representational purpose only and not with intention to violate the copyright.

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will a robot take my job

This edition of The Age of A.I. answers a fundamental question “will A.I. take my jobs”. It dwells on how machine learning is making it more productive, more safer, more cleaner to do your jobs. While testing is going on driverless cars, it is the driverless trucks where A.I. is being tested. This is fundamental because not all drivers are same, and drivers may behave differently on different days as well. Using A.I. in port cargo systems, where thousands of functions are dangerously operated, to make it safer and productive at the same time. Robotics is being trained in unstructured environment like home like somebody suddenly coming in, etc. A.I. is also being used in the food industry to control the amount of food being wasted. So the pizza A.I. uses algorithms to predict what kind of pizza will be ordered where and the pizza production is also centrally automated. The whole A.I. ecosystem around these functions are brilliant to say the least. It used algorithms plus A.I. plus humans instead of only algorithms plus A.I.  The whole purpose of A.I. being not to replace humans but to augment their capabilities.

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the space architects of mars

Next edition of “the age of A.I.” dwells on space architecture, building homes on Mars even without going there and in fact robotically without any human supervision and using materials which can withstand the harsh climatic conditions on planet Mars.

Next frontier for A.I. is innovating agriculture in order to improve yields dramatically by engineering climate and other factors like nutrients, water, soil health, air humidity etc. and in the process using robotics also in an interesting intersection of biology, A.I. and robotics.

 

 

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