Govt to ease FDI in print media, construction, retail

indexSource: Business Standard, May 17, 2017

New Delhi: The government is moving ahead with further opening of print media, construction and retail sectors to foreign investments, and detailed deliberations in this regard were held in the finance ministry on Wednesday.

The commerce and industry ministry may soon approach the Union Cabinet to get the final approval on the proposals, sources said.

According to them, the government is considering to relax foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in certain areas of print media.Currently, government allows foreign investment in areas such as printing of newspapers and publishing of scientific magazines with certain conditions and FDI caps.

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Government makes geo-location of tangible assets mandatory for firms

Source: The Economic Times, Apr 26, 2017

NEW DELHI: Corporate India will have to furnish the geo-location data of tangible assets appearing on the balance-sheets, with the government seeking to establish stringent norms for verifying the details of properties recorded with the registrar as ‘charges’ for a company.

Simply put, a charge is the interest created on a company’s assets that have been put up as security or are mortgaged.

Revising disclosure standards, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has told companies that supplying the latitude and longitude of their tangible assets is now mandatory. Company Secretaries and asset teams in the accounts divisions might now be engaged with Google Maps, with the ministry revising Forms CHG 1 and 9 to include a column on the latitude and longitude of the asset.

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Metro companies will have to buy 75% coaches, 25% equipment made in India

Source: Business Standard, Apr 23, 2017

It is now mandatory for the metro rail companies to procure minimum 75 per cent of train cars and 25 per cent of critical equipment from within the country, a norm made compulsory under the ‘Make in India’ campaign.

The Urban Development Ministry has incorporated these mandatory conditions in the metro companies’ tender documents which have been circulated to them, making the new norms effective immediately.

At present, it is not mandatory for the companies to procure metro train cars manufactured in India.Minimum 75 per cent of the tendered quantity of metro cars should be manufactured indigenously for which the suppliers may either establish independent manufacturing facility in India or partner with Indian manufacturers, provided the procurement is more than 100 cars, as per the new tender document.

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Government relaxes curb on export of organic farm produce

Source: The Economic Times, Apr 19, 2017

NEW DELHI: The government today relaxed restrictions on exports of certain organic agricultural and processed products like wheat, non-basmati rice to boost their overseas shipments.

“Export of organic agricultural and organic processed products like wheat, non-basmati rice, edible oils, sugar have been exempted from existing quantitative ceilings,” Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification.

It has also increased the annual quantitative ceiling on export of organic pulses and lentils from existing 10,000 tonnes to 50,000 tonnes per annum.

Government to widen entry for foreign funds while shuttering FIPB

Source: The Economic Times, Apr 20, 2017

NEW DELHI: The proposed dismantling of Foreign Investment Promotion Board, which vets proposals involving fund inflows from overseas, is likely to be bundled with related policy reforms.

On top of the list is doing away with prior government approval for investments in most sectors, including single-brand retail, which could see dilution of the 30% domestic sourcing clause.

“Contours of the proposed changes to the foreign direct investment policy are almost ready… Non-strategic sectors should be on automatic,” said a senior government official privy to discussions on the matter. Read the rest of this entry »

India eases rules to allow merger of Indian companies with foreign firms

Source: The Economic Times, Apr 19, 2017

NEW DELHI: India will allow local companies to merge with overseas firms, easing rules to help home-grown businesses restructure their expanding global operations, and pave the deck for more listings of securities on capital markets abroad.

“Until now, only inbound mergers were permitted. With outbound mergers now permissible, there would be a lot of opportunities for Indian companies to acquire, restructure, or list on offshore exchanges as well,” said Mehul Shah, a partner at Khaitan and Co. Read the rest of this entry »

Good news for start-ups, faster insolvency resolution on anvil

Source: Financial Express, Apr 18, 2017

New Delhi: The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) is considering a proposal to expedite the resolution of smaller and less complicated cases, and those involving start-ups within 90 days.“We are putting out a draft on this issue in a day or two,” IBBI chairman MS Sahoo told FE. A final decision will be made in due course. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, under which the IBBI was set up, provides for wrapping up the insolvency resolution process in 180 days from the date of the admission of an application for initiating the resolution process by the adjudicating authority. The IBBI came into force from December 1, 2016. Read the rest of this entry »