Draft policy on drug demand reduction withdrawn from Cabinet to include new survey data

Source: The Economic Times, Oct 14, 2018

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has withdrawn the draft National Drug Demand Reduction Policy from the Cabinet so as to include data from an ongoing national survey on the extent and pattern of substance use.

A decision in this regard was taken as the survey is likely to be completed soon.

The survey being conducted by the ministry in collaboration with the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) under the AIIMS is already underway to reach an estimated figure on the number of people in the country who are into drug use.

“The survey is about to end. Already data from 24 states/UTs have been collected and submitted. Data collection from 12 states including West Bengal, Goa, Sikkim and Chandigarh is still in process,” a senior Social Justice and Empowerment ministry official said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Customs duty raised on telecom equipment

Source: The Economic Times, Oct 12, 2018

NEW DELHI: India has raised basic customs duty on several telecom equipment and imposed duties on printed circuit boards used to make these as the country looks to curb non-essential imports to address its current account deficit as also boost ‘Make in India’.

Telecom products including base stations, optical transport equipment, combination of one or more of Packet Optical Transport Product or Switch (POTP or POTS), Optical Transport Network (OTN) products and IP radios will face customs duty of 20% instead of 10% now. Read the rest of this entry »

Import norms relaxed for certain chemicals used in pharma sector

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Oct. 03, 2018

New Delhi: The government on Wednesday relaxed import norms for about 34 chemicals used in pharmaceuticals industry, a move which would ease inbound shipments of these items.

The import policy of 34 items “has been revised from restricted to free subject to no objection certificate from Narcotics Commissioner, Gwalior , before import of the item”, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification.

The chemicals include cocaine, norephedrine, cathine and its salts, ephedrine hydrochloride and concentrates of poppy straw, nicotinic acid and aminorex.

RBI eases rules for public OMCs to borrow overseas

Source: The Economic Times, Oct 03, 2018

With the rupee continuing to touch new lows, the Reserve Bank Wednesday allowed forex borrowings for working capital by oil marketing companies–the largest consumers of foreign currency–under the automatic route with immediate effect.

Under the liberalised norms, with immediate effect, allow individual state-run refiners to borrow up to USD 750 million or equivalent, while for the system, it is capped at USD 10 billion.

All the state-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) will now be able to raise external commercial borrowings (ECBs) for working capital purposes with a minimum average maturity of three to five years from all recognised lenders under “the automatic route”, the central bank said. Read the rest of this entry »

E-commerce companies will have to register in every state for collecting TCS

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Sept 29, 2018

New Delhi: E-commerce operators will have to register themselves in every state where their suppliers are located for collection of TCS and foreign companies can appoint an ‘agent’ on their behalf for securing such registration, the CBIC has said.

E-commerce companies will from October 1 have to deduct 1 per cent tax collected at source (TCS) before making payments to their suppliers.

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has come out with a list of 29 FAQs answering industry queries on the modalities to be followed by the e-commerce operators for deducting TCS. Read the rest of this entry »

Govt mulls stricter disclosure norms for independent directors

Source: The Economic Time, Sept. 30, 2018

NEW DELHI: The government plans to put in place a stricter disclosure framework for independent directors, including providing details about their resignation from companies, as part of continuing efforts to bolster corporate governance standards.

Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas said the disclosure requirements would be finalised after elaborate deliberations with stakeholders.

Independent directors have significant responsibilities under the Companies Act and are part of various committees, including those related to CSR and remuneration. The role of independent directors has come under the scanner in certain instances of corporate misdoings. Read the rest of this entry »

Govt likely to hike import curbs on various items, will spare gold

c.jpgSource: Business Standard, Sept 25, 2018

New Delhi: The Central government is likely to increase import duties on precious stones, certain types of steel and electronics but will spare gold to prevent smuggling, a finance ministry official said on Monday. The official, who declined to be named, told reporters the main reason for the planned increase in duties is to curb an inflow of items that normally move between China and the US, but could be redirected because of the tariffs imposed by the two countries. The government is also trying to curb imports of “non-essential” items to support the rupee, Asia’s worst performing currency, and considering cutting oil import. The rupee has fallen around 12 per cent this year, forcing the government to scramble for steps to arrest the fall. News agency NewsRise reported on Monday that the finance ministry was considering a proposal to float a special gold deposit programme to cut imports of the metal by recycling the metal inside the country. India is the world’s second-biggest gold buyer, after China, and spent $3.64 billion on such imports last month. The steel ministry has proposed increasing the effective import duty on some steel products to 15 per cent from current rates ranging from 5 per cent to 12.5 per cent. Among other steps being considered to soften the blow from high crude oil prices and declining rupee is cutting oil purchases, said Indian Oil Corp (IOC) Chairman Sanjiv Singh. State refiners are looking at optimising crude oil inventory levels without in any way affecting fuel supplies in the domestic market, he told PTI on Monday.

Read the rest of this entry »