RBI allows e-mandates on cards, advances RTGS timings

Source: LiveMint.com, Aug 21, 2019

MUMBAI: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday permitted processing of e-mandate on credit and debit cards for recurring transactions (merchant payments) with a cap of ₹2,000.

RBI has been receiving requests from industry stakeholders to allow this with an additional factor of authentication during e-mandate registration and the first transaction.

“…it has been decided to permit processing of e-mandate on cards for recurring transactions (merchant payments) with AFA during e-mandate registration, modification and revocation, as also for the first transaction, and simple/automatic subsequent successive transactions,” RBI said in a circular. Read the rest of this entry »

India introduces flexible e-tourist visa with lower fee for lean season

Source: Business Standard, Aug 20, 2019

New Delhi: India introduced a flexible e-tourist visa regime based on tourist footfall, with higher fee for July to March peak season and a considerably lower fee if the visit to the country falls during April to June lean period. 

Speaking at the inauguration of a meeting with state government representatives on tourism on Tuesday, minister Prahlad Patel said the move was to encourage tourists to visit India.

“India to offer 30-day e-tourist visa with $10 fee during lean period April to June and $25 fee during peak tourism period from July to March,” he said.

A new five-year e-tourist visa will be introduced with $80 fee and a one year e-tourist visa with $40 fee, Patel said.

“For Japan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, lean period visa fees is $10 and for e-visa of 30 days, 1 year and 5 years is $25,” he said.

RBI allows fintech companies, financial institutions to set up regulatory sandbox

Source: The Economic Times, Aug 13, 2019

MUMBAI: The RBI on Tuesday permitted startups, banks and financial institutions to set up regulatory sandbox (RS) for live testing of innovative products in areas like retail payments, digital KYC and wealth management.

RS usually refers to live testing of new products or services in a controlled/test regulatory environment for which regulators may (or may not) permit certain relaxations for the limited purpose of the testing. The RS allows the regulator, innovators, financial service providers and customers to conduct field tests to collect evidence on the benefits and risks of new financial innovations, while carefully monitoring and containing their risks.

Releasing the ‘enabling framework for regulatory sandbox’, the RBI said the RS fosters ‘learning by doing’ on all sides and regulators obtain first-hand empirical evidence on the benefits and risks of emerging technologies and their implications. Read the rest of this entry »

India for ‘made in’ tag on all imported items

Source: The Economic Times, Aug 12, 2019

NEW DELHI: India could make it mandatory for all imports to carry ‘made in (country)’ tag declaring their place of origin as it looks to tackle large scale dumping and entry of sub-standard goods and give a fillip to local manufacturing.

This comes at a time when New Delhi has put in place country-specific trade restrictions such as high tariffs on certain American goods. Read the rest of this entry »

No geographic limits, web-based labour inspections introduced

Source: The Economic Times, Aug 12, 2019

NEW DELHI: The government has removed geographic limits that had been imposed on labour inspectors, that had confined them to a fixed territory, and introduced the option of web-based electronic inspection as part of its reforms.

The ministry has widened the jurisdiction of inspectors or facilitators under the Wage Code Act and ensured that an employer has to deal with a single inspector for compliance instead of one under each labour law.

Previous labour laws on wages imposed local limits on inspectors, which officials said bred a nexus between them and employers and led to corruption. Read the rest of this entry »

Income Tax dept relaxes assessment and scrutiny norms for start-ups

Source: Business Standard, Aug 09, 2019

New Delhi / Bengaluru: The income tax (I-T) department has relaxed its assessment and scrutiny norms for start-ups.

In a circular it directed its officers not to raise additional tax demands for start-ups recognised by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

This will be done in cases where scrutiny is limited to Section 56 (2) (viib) of the Income Tax Act, or what is called in popular parlance angel tax.

Angel tax refers to income tax payable on capital raised by unlisted firms by issuing shares where the share price is considered more than the fair market value. Read the rest of this entry »

Govt looks at eliminating FDI security gaps through scrutiny measures

Source: Business Standard, Aug 08, 2019

New Delhi: Concerned over rising foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into strategic sectors like telecom as well as information technology (IT) and IT-enabled Services (ITeS) through the automatic route, the government is considering eliminating the security gaps through a stringent scrutiny mechanism.

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has proposed an online filing of advance foreign investment returns on the Foreign Investment Facilitation Portal (FIFP), which will be accessible to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Ministry of Home Affairs and other security agencies.

The government is worried that a transfer of data from India, through IT investment, may threaten national security. Besides, it has been observed that very little information comes to the government from FDI flowing through the automatic route. Read the rest of this entry »