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supervision of RIAs

There was a news which came in Times of India that BSE has set up a supervisory body to regulate the Registered Investment Advisors in the country. Registered Investment Advisors are a breed of professionals who advises individuals on investments and manages their portfolios. They are registered and regulated by SEBI under the SEBI (Investment Advisors) Regulations, 2013. They are known as capital market intermediaries.

Apparently SEBI thought it fit to divest the supervisory role to another entity for which BSE has set up a wholly owned subsidiary BSE Administration & Supervision Ltd. (BASL) to perform that role. Now all existing investment advisors will have to register with this new entity BASL as a member.

Another level of compliances goes up for the investment advisors in the country, sigh!!

The link to the newspaper article is below:

https://m-timesofindia-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/m.timesofindia.com/business/india-business/bse-sets-up-entity-to-administer-supervise-activities-of-registered-investment-advisors/amp_articleshow/83436058.cms

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Mangaiyar Thilakam

Award winning Tamil family drama movie “Mangaiyar Thilakam” (1955) starring Sivaji Ganesan, Padmini, Ragini, M.N. Rajam among others.

Three hour long movie, this is total emotional atyachar movie from the Tamil cinema stable of the yore. Everything that could possibly go wrong in a family goes wrong and the actors have to bear it. Sivaji is bought up by his elder brother without his parents and for him his elder brother and wife are like God.

That’s the main story and there are sub plots galore. Thangavelu has provided some comic relief with his cameo role as a drama actor/ director in love with Ragini who has danced quite beautifully in the movie. Her father is a die hard drama hater and to bring him around takes all his intellect.

Sivaji marries into a rich family with a snobbish girl Rajam who is not used to doing the household chores. So tension on that count. Sivaji is quite a good actor save for his dialogue part which is too much. Tamil and Malayalam movies have long and heavy dialogues – i guess a legacy of the theatre. Three hour with songs is too long for today’s times. The music gave the impression that a song is around the corner every second. imdb 3/10

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increase in ATM charges

RBI has vide its circular dated 10th June, 2021 increased the ATM usage charges as follows:

  1. Increase in intercharge fee per transaction from Rs.15 to Rs.17 for financial transactions and from Rs.5 to Rs.6 for non financial transactions across all centres, metros or non metros. This will be effective from 1st August, 2021;
  2. Intercharge fee pertains to the fees charged by the banks to the merchants who processes a credit card or debit card payment.
  3. Usage charges for customers at ATM machines beyond the stipulated free usage from Rs.20 to Rs.21 per transaction;
  4. Customers get 5 free transactions at own ATM and 3 free transactions at other bank ATM. In non metro cities, customers get 5 free transactions at other bank ATMs.
  5. This will come into effect from 1st January, 2022.

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5.53 kms

There was a slight break in the incessant rains at around 6.00 a.m. today morning, so decided to go out for a quick run. Not run since Monday so wanted this badly, a shortie 5.53 kms just to get the legs moving. Beautiful weather today morning in Mumbai in the back road behind Inorbit Mall, Malad.

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FSSAI licence no. on hotel bills

FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) has mandated vide its order dated 8th June, 2021 that with effect from 1st October, 2021 all food businesses shall mention their 14 digit FSSAI license no. or registration no. on all invoices/ bills/ receipts/ cash memo/ purchase invoices etc.

When 2 transaction documents are issued such as transport challan/ bill etc. then the FSSAI no. needs to be mentioned on both documents. The only exemption is e-way bill and other government documents which are system generated.

Already FSSAI no. is presently being displayed on packaged food labels but establishments such as restaurants, mithai stores, caterers, retail stores were out of this ambit. Now with this order all these food businesses are brought into consideration.

Displaying the license no. will enable customers to access more details about the food business from the FSSAI site or their mobile app. If the no. is not mentioned then it will tantamount to non compliance or even non registration.

The copy of notification can be found on FSSAI site.

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centralised database for corporate bonds & debentures

SEBI has vide its circular dated 4th June, 2021 streamlined its procedure for the centralised database for corporate bonds & debentures in supersession of its earlier 2013 circular.

The responsibilities of the parties involved and and the manner of posting information in the database, the fields involved etc. are all given in the said circular which can be accessed here

https://www.sebi.gov.in/legal/circulars/jun-2021/centralized-database-for-corporate-bonds-debentures_50421.html

The salient features are given below:

Responsibilities of parties involved, contents of the database and manner of submitting the information
Depositories:
a. Depositories shall continue to jointly create, host, maintain and disseminate the centralized database of corporate bonds, which are available in demat form. All historical data available in the database in terms of SEBI Circular no. CIR/IMD/DF/17/2013 dated October 22, 2013 shall continue to be hosted by the Depositories.
b. Depositories shall ensure to have adequate systems and safeguards to maintain the integrity of data and to prevent manipulation of data.
c. Each Depository shall synchronize the database in consultation with the other Depository.
d. The Depository which receives information from an issuer shall host the same as well as share it with the other Depository for hosting within three working days from the date of receipt of the information.
e. Depositories shall categorise investors as per the SEBI Circular No. CIR/CFD/CMD/13/2015 dated November 30, 2015.
f. Depositories shall provide secure login credentials to Issuers, Stock Exchanges, Credit Rating Agencies and Debenture Trustees for updating and verifying requisite information in the corporate bond database within timelines as mentioned in this circular.
Issuers:
a. Issuers shall fill all the requisite fields as provided in Annex-I in the Centralized Database at the time of allotment of the ISIN. Depositories shall verify the information as provided by issuer at the time of activation of ISIN.
b. Post listing of securities, Issuers shall submit information in the requisite fields as provided in Annex-II to any of the Stock Exchanges where their securities are listed on a periodical basis and/or ‘as and when’ basis event based), as applicable. The Stock Exchange shall indicate the format of filing to the Issuers in this regard.
Stock Exchanges:
a. Stock Exchanges and Depositories shall develop a system such that information received by them is updated on the Centralized Database on a daily basis.
b. Stock Exchanges shall verify listing details as provided in Annex- I and II of the circular in the Centralized Database.
c. Stock Exchanges shall update event based and periodical information in the Centralized Database when received from the Issuers in Annex- II.
Credit Rating Agencies
Credit Rating Agencies shall access the database to verify the rating information uploaded by the Issuer. In case of any discrepancy, Credit Rating Agencies shall notify the same to Stock Exchanges and update the correct information in the database within the time stipulated in Annex – III.
Debenture Trustees
Debenture Trustees shall access the database to verify the information regarding default history and other relevant information. In case of any discrepancy, Debenture Trustee shall notify the same to Stock Exchanges and update the correct information in the database, within the time stipulated in Annex – III.

Depositories shall also provide the information available with respect to the Redeemable Preference Shares and Securitized Debt Instruments, in a separate section within the database, in the form as available with them, after sharing the same with the other depository for synchronizing and updating the database.

All annexures are available for reference in the link given above.

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delhi shops & regn act

Registration under the Delhi Shops & Registration Act, 1954 is now integrated with the company incorporation under MCA portal in sPICe format – i.e. at one step a company can be incorporated as well its PAN/ TAN/ GST/ EPF/ ESIC registrations done. Besides bank a/c opening and professional tax regn under certain state laws are also integrated. First time registrants under the aforesaid Delhi Shops & Registration Act, can avail of this single window facility. It is only when they have to register their other offices or branches that they need to go to a separate portal for the same i.e. https://labourcis.nic.in

The relevant notification is given below:

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guidelines for developing e-content for CwD

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1725279

Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ today approved the release of the guidelines for the Development of e-Content for Children with Disabilities today.

A comprehensive initiative, PM e-VIDYA was launched on 17th May 2020, with an aim to unify all efforts related to digital/online/on-air education. The programme interaliaenvisages development of special e-content for the Divyang (Children with Disabilities-CwDs).  In pursuance of this vision, the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education had constituted a Committee of experts, for recommending guidelines for developing e-content for these children.

For the first time, an attempt was made to prepare guidelines for CwD also referred to as Children with Special Needs (CWSN) children so that the goal of inclusive education is fulfilled. The Committee submitted a report titled “Guidelines for the Development of e-Content for Children with Disabilities” comprising of eleven Sections and two Appendices. This report was shared, presented, discussed and accepted by the MoE.

The salient highlights of the e- content guidelines in the report are: 

  • e-Content for CwDs should be developed based on the four principles namely: perceivable, operable, understandable and robust.
  • e-Content including text, tables, diagrams, visuals, audios, videos etc. should comply with accessibility standards: national standards (GIGW 2.0) and international standards (WCAG 2.1, E-Pub, DAISY  etc).
  • Distribution platforms on which content is uploaded (e.g. DIKSHA) and Reading platforms/devices on which content is accessed and interacted (e.g. e-pathshala) must comply with technical standards
  • Reasonable pedagogical accommodations have been recommended to meet specific needs of CwDs
  • The technical standards and guidelines have been detailed out in Section 4 of the report.

The Committee has also recommended that in a phased manner textbooks may be adapted into Accessible Digital Textbooks (ADTs). The content of ADTs should be provided in multiple formats (text, audio, video, sign language etc) with turn-on and turn-off features. Further ADTs should provide flexibility to CwDs to respond to its content/exercises in multiple ways. The detailed guidelines for developing ADTs along with existing international and national experience, in the development of prototypes including the recent NCERT’s experience: Barkha:A Reading Series for All (in print and digital forms),  Accessible Textbooks for All and UNICEF’s “Accessible Digital Textbooks using Universal Design for Learning ( for Learners with and without  Disabilities ) have been presented in Section 5 of the report.

  • In addition to ADTs, in Sections 6 to 9 the Committee has recommended specific guidelines for development of supplementary e-Content as per 21 disabilities specified in the RPWD Act 2016 for students having Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Multiple Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Specific Learning Disabilities, Blindness, low vision, Deafness and Hard of Hearing and others.
  • A summary of the recommendations has been presented in Section 10 of the report for sharing widely with content creators, content designers, developers, publishers.
  • The implementation roadmap along with the suggestions to strengthen compliance to the accessibility guidelines have been presented in Section 11 of the report.
  • Comprehensive guidelines and technical standards for the production of Sign Language videos have been provided at Appendix-1 of the Report.
  • Universal Design for Learning( UDL)guidelines for content development and pedagogical accommodations are given in Appendix 2 of the report. 

These guidelines will initiate the creation of high quality content for digital education toChildrenwith Special needs. They are dynamic by nature, to be improved based on experience and advent of better technology.

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Uttarayanam

Award winning avant garde Malayalam film “Uttarayanam” (1974) directed by G. Aravindan and starring Sukumaran, Adoor Bhasi among others.

The underlying theme of the movie is exposing corruption in ideology. The film focuses on the main protagonist Ravi who is a masters in literature and reads literary masters but does not find any employment anywhere, typical of the scene in 70s Kerala.

His grandfather was a follower of the Gandhian principles of non violence whereas his father had taken up the revolutionary ideals of Bhagat Singh. The film moves into flashback mode to show us the conflicting ideologies at play.

He seeks company of Kumaran Master, the last known friend of his father, who gives him letter of recommendations to one Gopalan who had during the revolutionary movement turned sides against them, but is now a corrupt politician. His friend David who hated politics from his college days is now a trade union leader, mediating for business persons against difficult labour situations. His another friend from college days Premkumar (Sukumaran) who is now a medical rep but spends his leisure time on drinks, smoke and women.

So Ravi is a confused aatma frustrated at not getting his due worth. His family is worse off, not having even milk to drink coffee with. There are only empty promises and corrupt ideologies with hypocrisy ruling the roost.

Aravindan has crafted a masterpiece with his first ever movie. His opening long shot of a train amidst the green foliage of Kerala is breathtaking and so is the camera work and cinematography throughout the movie. There are long shots which are picturesque as well as stunning close range shots through cubby holes, windows, doors which are quite brilliant. The silhouette shot of the cover image is breathtaking. Its a kind of a neo realism cinema practiced by the masters like Satyajit Ray, Vittoria de Sica and others with closer to the ground natural settings. imdb 7/10

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PLI for pharma – operational guidelines

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1723447

With an aim to enhance India’s manufacturing capabilities by increasing investment and production in the sector and to contribute to product diversification to high value goods in the pharmaceutical sector, Department of Pharmaceuticals notified the ‘Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Pharmaceuticals’ vide Gazette Notification No.31026/60/2020-Policy-DoP dated 3rd March, 2021. The approved outlay of the scheme is Rs 15000 crore. The scheme envisages to create global champions out of India who have the potential to grow in size and scale using cutting edge technology and thereby penetrate the global value chains. Based on a series of consultations with pharmaceutical industry and stakeholders in the Government, the operational guidelines for the scheme have been prepared and issued on 1st June. The scheme is now open to applications from the industry.
The applications are invited in three groups based on the Global Manufacturing Revenue of FY 2019-20 of the applicants. A special carve out for MSMEs has been kept under the scheme. All the applications will be submitted through an online portal maintained by SIDBI, the Project Management Agency for the scheme. Application can be made on the online portal, URL of which is https://pli-pharma.udyamimitra.in. The application window is for 60 days staring from 2nd June, 2021 to 31st July, 2021 (Both dates inclusive)

The eligible products have been categorized into three categories. The products covered under the scheme are formulations, biopharmaceuticals, active pharmaceutical ingredients, key starting material, drug intermediates, in-vitro diagnostic medical devices, etc. The category-1 and category-2 products attract 10% incentive and category-3 products attract 5% incentive on the incremental sales. Incremental sales of a product mean sales of that product in a year over and above the sales of that product in FY 2019-2020.

Based on clearly laid out selection criteria given in the guidelines, a maximum of 55 applicants will be selected under the scheme. An applicant, through a single application, can apply for more than one product and the products applied by an applicant can be in any of the three categories. The applicants will be required to achieve minimum cumulative investment per year over a period of 5 years as prescribed under the scheme. The investment could be under new plant and machinery, equipment and associated utilities, research and development, transfer of technology, product registration and expenditure incurred on building where plant and machinery are installed. Investment made on or after April 01, 2020 will be considered as eligible investment under the scheme.

Thereafter, the selected manufacturers will be able to receive production linked incentives based on incremental sales of pharmaceutical products for a period of 6 years. A selected participant will be able to get a maximum incentive of Rs 1000 crore, Rs 250 crore and Rs 50 crore respectively depending upon its group over the period of the scheme. Additional incentive will be available based on performance but subject to certain conditions. In no case, the total incentive including additional inventive, would be more than Rs 1200 crore, Rs 300 crore and Rs 60 crore per selected participant respectively for the three groups over the period of the scheme.

An Empowered Group of Secretaries will undertake periodic reviews of the scheme to ensure its smooth implementation along with the other PLI schemes of the Govt. of India. A Technical Committee will assist the department in all technical issues which arise during the implementation of the scheme. SIDBI, the Project management Agency selected for this scheme, will be responsible for implementation and will be the interface with the industry for all issues with respect to online applications, selection of applicants, verification of investments, verification of sales and disbursal of incentives etc.

The pharmaceutical and the in-vitro diagnostic industry is expected to actively participate in the scheme and contribute to further strengthening the sector.

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The Gold Coast

A 622 page turner from the master story teller Nelson De Mille in “The Gold Coast”.

John Sutter is a pompous New York attorney specialising in family matters, with a beautiful wife Susan and living in her family mansion in Gold Coast. One of the last remaining mafia dons Frank Bellarosa buys their next door mansion and their lives change inexorably thereafter.

Both John and Susan are drawn to the magnetism and the charm of the Italian mafia don and they become like pawns in his world of things. There is a pending murder investigation against Frank for which John agrees to become the attorney for the day to secure bail on the same day as the arrest, in fact before lunch time. John being not a criminal lawyer had to agree because Frank helped him in an IRS investigation into John’s financial affairs.

Large pages are devoted to the interplay between John and Frank and the irretrievable break down of the marriage between John and Susan. Nelson has built up the story very well and carried it through and through admirably for 622 pages, because with a long book like this, invariably the reader tends to start yawning, half way through. Nelson’s writing is magnificent, its throbbing with excitement and pulsating with the joy of bringing somebody’s story to life. Goodreads 5/5

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insurance claims on cyclones tauktae & yaas

IRDAI circular dated 31st May, 2021 asking general insurance companies and health insurance companies to expeditiously process insurance claims relating to cyclones Tauktae & Yaas. Read on.

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EPFO advance

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1723083

To support its subscribers during the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, EPFO has now allowed its members to avail second non-refundable COVID-19 advance. The provision for special withdrawal to meet the financial need of members during pandemic was introduced in March 2020, under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY). An amendment to this effect was made by Ministry of Labour & Employment in Employees’ Provident Funds Scheme, 1952 by inserting therein sub-para (3) under paragraph 68L, through notification in the Official Gazette.

Under this provision, non-refundable withdrawal to the extent of the basic wages and dearness allowances for three months or up to 75% of the amount standing to member’s credit in the EPF account, whichever is less, is provided. Members can apply for lesser amount also.

The COVID-19 advance has been a great help to the EPF members during the pandemic, especially for those having monthly wages of less than Rs. 15,000. As on date, EPFO has settled more than 76.31 lakh COVID-19 advance claims thereby disbursing a total of Rs. 18,698.15 crore.

During the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, ‘mucormycosis’ or black fungus has been declared an epidemic recently. In such trying times, EPFO endeavours to lend a helping hand to its members by meeting their financial needs. Members who have already availed the first COVID-19 advance can now opt for a second advance also. The provision and process for withdrawal of second COVID-19 advance is same as in the case of first advance.

Considering urgent need of members for financial support in these trying times, it has been decided to accord top priority to COVID-19 claims. EPFO is committed to settle these claims within three days of their receipt. For this, EPFO has deployed a system driven auto-claim settlement process in respect of all such members whose KYC requirements is complete in all respects. Auto-mode of settlement enables EPFO to reduce the claim settlement cycle to just 3 days as against the statutory requirement to settle the claims within 20 days.

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Sarasayya

Award winning Malayalam noir film “Sarasayya” (1971) starring Sathyan, Madhu, Sheela, Jayabharati among others.

Heavy duty emotional film this one, right from first frame and that too with heavy dialogues and equally dense music. If not anything else, the music was killing the viewer.

Sathyan is a leprosy doctor and researcher but he gets emotionally involved with his patient Sheela. Young Madhu is also a doctor who gets smitten by Sheela. In the meanwhile Sheela’s sister Jayabharati has a troubled marriage with an oddball character. Their father is mentally challenged. Sheela is indebted to Sathyan because he recovers her fully from leprosy.

But Sathyan rapes Sheela one day in an emotional state and she denies such thing ever happened to her beau Madhu. The father meanwhile dies from accidental poisoning and police gets involved. Too much of emotional wrangling going on among the characters, with copious amount of tears flowing. The saving grace in the movie is undoubtedly Madhu who was the cool, assured, sorted out character. The director has tried to add some oddball comic characters to the plot, but it fails to entice the viewer. IMDB 2/10

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social security relief to workers’ dependants

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1722880

The Ministry of Labour and Employment has announced additional benefits for workers through ESIC and EPFO schemes to address the fear and anxiety of workers about well-being of their family members due to increase in incidences of death due to COVID -19 pandemic. Enhanced social security is sought to be provided to the workers without any additional cost to the employer. 

Currently for the Insured Persons (IPs) under ESIC, after death or disablement of the IP due to employment injury a pension equivalent to 90% of average daily wage drawn by the worker is available to the spouse and widowed mother for life long and for children till they attain the age of 25 years. For the female child, the benefit is available till her marriage. 

To support the families of Insured Persons (IP) under the ESIC scheme, it has been decided that, all dependent family members of IPs who have been registered in the online portal of the ESIC prior to their diagnosis of COVID disease and subsequent death due to the disease, will be entitled to receive the same benefits and in the same scale as received by the dependents of insured persons who die as a result of employment injury, subject to the following eligibility conditions:

a. The IP must have been registered on the ESIC online portal at least three months prior to the diagnosis of COVID disease resulting in death. 

b. The IP must have been employed for wages and contributions for at least 78 days should have been paid or payable in respect of deceased IP during a period of one year immediately preceding the diagnosis of COVID disease resulting in death. 

The IPs, who fulfill the eligibility conditions, and have died due to COVID disease, their dependants will be entitled to receive monthly payment @90% of average daily wages of the insured person during their life. The scheme will be effective for a period of two years from 24.03.2020. 

Under the EPFO’s Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme all surviving dependent family members of the members of this scheme are eligible to avail benefits of EDLI in case of death in harness of the member. At present under this scheme, the benefits extended in case of death of a worker are no requirement of minimum service for payment of Gratuity, family pension is paid as per provisions under EPF & MP Act, sickness benefit of 70% of wages for 91 days in a year is paid in the event of worker falling sick and not attending office. 

A notification issued by the Ministry  has made following amendments to this: 

a. Amount of maximum benefit has been increased from 6 lakhs to 7 lakhs to the family members of deceased employee.

b. Minimum assurance benefit of ₹2.5 lakh to eligible family members of deceased employees who was a member for a continuous period of 12 months in one or more establishments preceding his death in place of existing provision of continuous employment in the same establishment for 12 months.

It will benefit contractual/casual labourers were losing out on benefits due to condition of continuous one year in one establishment.

c. Restoration of provision of minimum 2.5 lakh compensation retrospectively, i.e., from 15th February 2020.  

d. In coming 3 years, the actuary has estimated that eligible family members will get an additional benefit of Rs. 2185 crore from EDLI fund in the years 2021-22 to 2023-24.

e. Number of claims on account of death under the scheme has been estimated to be about 50,000 families per year including increase in claims taking into account estimated death of about 10,000 workers, which may occur due to Covid. 

These welfare measures will provide the much needed support to the families of workers who have died due to the COVID-19 disease and will protect them from financial hardships in these challenging times of pandemic.

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