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 »

Finance Ministry approves 8.65% interest rate on EPF

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Apr 16, 2017

New Delhi: The Finance Ministry is believed to have permitted the Labour Ministry to go ahead with 8.65 per cent rate of interest on employees’ provident fund for 2016-17, which will benefit over four crore EPFO members.

The Finance Ministry in its communication to the Labour Ministry has, however, put a rider that the interest rate should not result in a deficit for the retirement fund. This will enable the Labour Ministry to provide 8.65 per cent rate as decided by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) trustees.

According to EPFO estimates, the fund will see a surplus after providing 8.65 per cent interest rate for the last fiscal. Read the rest of this entry »

Government may soon allow 100% FDI in cash, ATM management companies

Source: The Economic Times, Apr 16, 2017

NEW DELHI: Cash and ATM management companies will soon be allowed to attract 100 per cent foreign direct investment as they are not required to comply with the Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act (PSARA).

A clarification to this effect is likely to be issued by the home ministry shortly.

The clarification will be against the backdrop of the confusion among firms in cash and ATM management relating to compliance with the Act, under which they can receive FDI only up to 49 per cent. Read the rest of this entry »