Bimonthly Legal Tablet Volume 5 Issue 1, January 06, 2015

NOTIFICATIONS, CIRCULARS, (November – December, 2014)

RBI
A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 37 dated November 20, 2014 issued by the Reserve Bank of India, Foreign Exchange Department regarding ‘Export of Goods / Software / Services – Period of Realisation and Repatriation of Export Proceeds – For exporters including Units in SEZs, Status Holder Exporters, EOUs, Units in EHTPs, STPs and BTPs

It has been decided, in consultation with the Government of India, that on and from the date of the Notification, the period of realization and repatriation of export proceeds shall be 9 months from the date of export for all exporters including Units in SEZs, Status Holder Exporters, EOUs, Units in EHTPs, STPs & BTPs until further notice. The provisions in regard to period of realization and repatriation to India of the full exports made to warehouses established outside India remain unchanged.

A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 38 dated November 20, 2014 issued by the Reserve Bank of India, Foreign Exchange Department regarding ‘Acquisition/Transfer of Immovable property – Payment of taxes’

It is clarified that transactions involving acquisition of immovable property under Foreign Exchange Management (Acquisition and Transfer of immovable property in India) Regulations, 2000 notified vide Notification No. FEMA 21 /2000-RB dated 3rd May 2000 as amended from time to time, shall be subject to the applicable tax laws in India.

A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 39 dated November 21, 2014 issued by the Reserve Bank of India, Foreign Exchange Department regarding ‘External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) Policy – Parking of ECB proceeds

At present, eligible ECB borrowers are required to bring ECB proceeds, meant for Rupee expenditure in India for permitted end uses, such as, local sourcing of capital goods, on-lending to Self-Help Groups or for micro credit, payment for spectrum allocation, etc., immediately for credit to their Rupee accounts with AD Category – I banks in India.

With a view to providing greater flexibility to the ECB borrowers in structuring draw down of ECB proceeds and utilisation of the same for permitted end uses, it has been decided to permit AD Category -I banks to allow eligible ECB borrowers to park ECB proceeds (both under the automatic and approval routes) in term deposits with AD Category- I banks in India for a maximum period of 6 months pending utilisation for permitted end uses. The facility will be with the following conditions:

  1. The applicable guidelines on eligible borrower, recognised lender, average maturity period, all-in-cost, permitted end uses, etc. should be complied with.
  2. No charge in any form should be created on such term deposits.
  3. Such term deposits should be exclusively in the name of the borrower.
  4. Such term deposits can be liquidated as and when required.

The amended ECB policy will come into force with immediate effect and is subject to review. All other aspects of ECB policy would remain unchanged.

A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 41 dated November 25, 2014 issued by the Reserve Bank of India, Foreign Exchange Department regarding ‘Routing of funds raised abroad to India

It is clarified that:

  1. Indian companies or their AD Category – I banks are not allowed to issue any direct or indirect guarantee or create any contingent liability or offer any security in any form for such borrowings by their overseas holding/ associate/ subsidiary/ group companies except for the purposes explicitly permitted in the relevant Regulations.
  2. ii. Further, funds raised abroad by overseas holding/ associate/ subsidiary/ group companies of Indian companies with support of the Indian companies or their AD Category – I banks as mentioned at (i) above cannot be used in India unless it conforms to the general or specific permission granted under Securities and Exchange Board of India, to invest overseas in terms of the provisions issued under the A.P. (DIR Series) Circulars No. 49 and 50 dated the relevant Regulations.Indian companies or their AD Category – I banks using or establishing structures which contravene the above shall render themselves liable for penal action as prescribed under Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.

A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 43 dated December 02, 2014 issued by the Reserve Bank of India, Foreign Exchange Department regarding ‘Remittance of Assets – Submission of Auditor’s certificate

Foreign Exchange Management (Remittance of Assets) Regulations, 2000, notified vide Notification No. FEMA 13/2000-RB dated May 3, 2000, as amended from time to time, required submission of certificates in the formats prescribed by Central Board of Direct Taxes, Ministry of Finance, Government of India specified in their Circular No. 10/2002 dated October 9, 2002.

The CBDT vide its notification dated September 02, 2013 has revised the instructions regarding furnishing of tax declarations and submission of Form 15CA and 15 CB.

Accordingly, Reserve Bank has since amended the Principal Regulations through the Foreign Exchange Management (Remittance of Assets) (Amendment) Regulations, 2014 notified vide Notification No. FEMA. 324/2014-RB dated October 31, 2014, c.f. G.S.R. No. 803 (E) dated November 14, 2014, with respect to submitting certificates on tax payments.

In this connection, Authorised Dealer banks may refer to the instructions contained in A.P (DIR Series) Circular No. 151 dated June 30, 2014. The conditions stipulated therein shall be complied with while making remittances.

A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 48 dated December 09, 2014 issued by the Reserve Bank of India, Foreign Exchange Department regarding ‘Overseas Investments by Alternative Investment Funds (AIF)

On a review, it has been decided to permit an Indian Alternative Investment Fund (‘AIF’), registered with April 30, 2007 and May 04, 2007 respectively. Necessary modifications to Foreign Exchange Management (Transfer or Issue of any Foreign Security) Regulations 2004 has been issued vide Notification No. FEMA.326/RB-2014 dated November 12, 2014 and effective from the date of publication in the Gazette i.e., November 21, 2014.

A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 54 dated December 29, 2014 issued by the Reserve Bank of India, Foreign Exchange Department regarding ‘Overseas Direct Investments by Indian Party – Rationalization / Liberalization

In order to grant more flexibility to the Indian party, it has been decided to further liberalize certain regulations of the Foreign Exchange Management (Transfer or Issue of any Foreign Security) Regulations, 2004, as detailed below:

  i. Creation of charge on shares of JV/ WOS/ step down subsidiary (‘SDS’) in favour of domestic/ overseas lender.

It has been decided that the designated AD bank may permit creation of charge/ pledge on the shares of the JV/ WOS/ SDS (irrespective of the level) of an Indian party in favour of a domestic or overseas lender for securing the funded and/or non-funded facility to be availed of by the Indian party or by its group companies/ sister concerns/ associate concerns or by any of its JV/ WOS/ SDS (irrespective of the level) under the automatic route subject to certain conditions contained in the A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 54.

ii,Creation of charge on the domestic assets in favour of overseas lenders to the JV/ WOS/ step down subsidiary.

It has been decided that the designated AD bank may permit creation of charge (by way of pledge, hypothecation, mortgage, or otherwise) on the domestic assets of an Indian party (or its group companies/ sister concerns/ associate concerns including the individual promoters/ directors) in favour of an overseas lender for securing the funded and/or non-funded facility to be availed of by the JV/ WOS/ SDS (irrespective of the level) of the Indian party under the automatic route subject to certain conditions contained in the A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 54.

iii. Creation of charge on overseas assets in favour of domestic lender

It has been decided that the designated AD bank may permit creation of charge (by way of hypothecation, mortgage, or otherwise) on the overseas assets (excluding the shares) of the JV/ WOS/ SDS (irrespective of the level) of an Indian party in favour of a domestic lender for securing the funded and/or non-funded facility to be availed of by the Indian party or by its group companies/ sister concerns/ associate concerns or by any of its overseas JV/ WOS/ SDS (irrespective of the level) under the automatic route subject to certain conditions contained in the A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 54.

DIPP

Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion

Press Note No. 10 (2014 Series) dated December 03, 2014 issued by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Government of India, Ministry of Commerce & Industry regarding ‘Review of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy on the Construction Development Sector – amendment to ‘Consolidated FDI Policy Circular 2014’’

Paragraph 6.2.11 of the ‘Consolidated FDI Policy Circular of 2014’ relating to ‘Construction Development: Townships, Housing, Built-up infrastructure’ has been amended in its entirety. It inter-alia includes additional activities like construction of roads or bridges under the 100% equity investment route. Further, the conditions subject to which such equity investment may be made have also been amended.

PIB

Review of the policy on Foreign Direct Investment in Pharmaceutical Sector – carve out for medical devices

Press Information Bureau, Government of India

The Union Cabinet gave its approval to amend the existing FDI policy in the Pharmaceutical Sector to create a carve out for medical devices. FDI up to 100%, under the automatic route is now permitted for manufacturing of ‘medical devices’.  ‘Medical devices’ has been comprehensively defined and is subject to the amendment in Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

MCA

General Circular No. 42/2014 dated November 12, 2014 issued by Government of India, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, regarding ‘Clarification on matters relating to the Companies (Cost Records and Audit) Rules, 2014’

Ministry of Corporate Affairs

The Ministry issued the following clarification: Considering delay in availability of Form CRA-2 on the MCA website, it has been decided to extend the date of filing of the said Form without any penalty/late fee up to 31st January, 2015. Form CRA-2 will be made available on the MCA website soon. It is noted that some companies have filed Form 23C for appointment of Cost Auditor for the financial year 2014-15. It is clarified that such companies need not file form CRA-2 afresh for the financial year 2014-15.

General Circular No. 43/2014 dated November 13, 2014 issued by Government of India, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, regarding ‘Issue of Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds (FCCBs) and Foreign Currency Bonds (FCBs) – Clarification regarding applicability of provisions of Chapter III of the Companies Act, 2013’

The issue of FCCBs and FCBs by companies is regulated by the Ministry of Finance’s regulations contained in Issue of Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds and Ordinary Shares (Through Depository Receipts Mechanism) Scheme, 1993 (‘Scheme’) and RBI through its various directions/ regulations. It is clarified that unless otherwise provided in the said Scheme or the directions/ regulations issued by the RBI, provisions of Chapter III of the Companies Act, 2013 shall not apply to an issue of a FCCB or FCB made exclusively to persons resident outside India in accordance with the above mentioned regulations.

SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CASES:

MSP Infrastructure Ltd. v. M.P. Road Development Corporation Ltd. MANU/SC/1144/2014

The question that arose was whether a party to an arbitration proceeding can be permitted to raise objections under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 with regard to the jurisdiction of the Arbitral Tribunal after the stage of submission of the written statement. The Hon’ble Supreme Court held that a party may raise any objection as to jurisdiction before or at the time of submission of its statement of defence and thereafter it is expressly prohibited. It cannot raise the question after it has submitted to the jurisdiction of the Tribunal and invited an unfavourable award.

Hyder Consulting (UK) Ltd. v. Governor, State of Orissa MANU/SC/1078/2014

A three judge bench of the Supreme Court by a majority overruled the decision of a two judge bench of the Supreme Court in the case of State of Haryana and Ors. v. S.L. Arora & Co. MANU/SC/0131/2010 wherein it was held that an award of interest on interest from the date of award is not permissible under Section 31(7) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (‘Act’). On an interpretation of Section 31(7) of the Act, the majority held that the sum awarded by the Arbitral Tribunal under Section 31(7) (a) of the Act shall include pre-award interest if any and the post-award interest under Section 31(7) (b) of the Act shall be awarded on the ‘sum’ directed to paid under the said clause (a). 

Anil and Ors. v. Rajendra and Ors. CIVIL APPEAL No. 11604 /2014

Affirming the principle of res judicata, the Hon’ble Supreme Court held that once the judicial authority takes a decision not to refer the parties to arbitration, and the said decision having become final, thereafter the route of Section 11(6) of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 before the Chief Justice is not available to either party.

Pricol limited v. Johnson Controls Enterprise ltd. & Ors. MANU/SC/1165/2014

Appointment of an Arbitrator under the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) between the parties has been sought by means of the application under section 11(6) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. The Court after reasonable construction of the Arbitration Clause held that since the parties were not able to name a sole Arbitrator by mutual agreement, the Arbitrator appointed by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) was valid. The court further held that the appointment of the sole Arbitrator by SIAC and the partial award on the issue of jurisdiction cannot be questioned and examined in a proceeding under Section 11(6) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. To exercise the said power would really amount to sitting in appeal over the decision of SIAC.

Ram Barai Singh & Co. v. State of Bihar & Ors. MANU/SC/1194/2014

The debatable question was where the contract itself provides an effective alternative remedy by way of reference to arbitration and whether it is good ground for declining to exercise extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. The Hon’ble Supreme Court held that a constitutional remedy by way of Writ Petition is always available to an aggrieved party and an arbitration clause in an agreement between the parties cannot ipso facto render a writ petition ‘not maintainable’. Once the Respondents had not objected to entertainment of the Writ Petition on the ground of availability of alternative remedy, the final judgment rendered on merits cannot be faulted and set aside only on noticing that an alternative remedy by way of arbitration is available.

Narinder S. Chadha v. Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai & Ors. MANU/SC/1126/2014

The Hon’ble Supreme Court interpreted the words ‘regulate’ and relying on one of its earlier decision held that under Section 33 of Bombay Police Act, 1951 the term ‘regulate’ does not include the power to prohibit. The Court reiterated that Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 provides a power to grant only temporary orders which cannot last beyond 2 months from the making thereof.

Vishwanath Prasad Jaiswal v. Satya Narain Sharma, MANU/SC/1154/2014

Adjudicating the appeal against the impugned order of Allahabad High Court, the Supreme Court examined the provision under Section 20(2)(c) of the Uttar Pradesh Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972  and held that in order to succeed under the provision, a landlord must establish, firstly, that the tenant without the permission of the landlord, had effected construction or structural alteration in the rented building and either that the said construction or structural alteration had diminished the value of the building or that it had diminished the utility of the building, or that it had disfigured the building.

COMPETITION COMMISSION OF INDIA’S ORDERS

Cinemax India Limited (now known as PVR Ltd.) and Film Distributors Association (Kerala)

The Cinemax India Limited (‘Cinemax’) (having a business of exhibition of films at its cinema halls across the country including Kerala), filed a complaint against Film Distributors Association (Kerala) (‘FDA (K)’), alleging that FDA (K) was imposing unilaterally decided revenue sharing pattern  upon Cinemax and was also not allowing Cinemax to negotiate independently with the individual distributors of the association. Cinemax alleged that the FDA (K) was behaving like a cartel and exploiting their collective bargaining position to coerce film exhibitors, such as Cinemax, to enter into extremely unreasonable revenue sharing arrangements.

After the Directorate General’s investigation, the Competition Commission of India (‘Commission’) agreed that FDA (K) was directly involved in directing, imposing and implementing the fixed uniform revenue sharing pattern in the market of Malayalam film exhibition among its members and multiplex film exhibitors in Kerala. The Commission noted that FDA (K) stopped the screening of all movies in the theatres that did not accept its terms /directions of the revenue sharing pattern and also imposed fines on its members, which did not implement the terms imposed by it and asked its members to pay the contribution for violating the terms and conditions of business directed by it. In view of the findings, the Commission concluded that FDA (K) was indeed indulging in anti-competitive activities and therefore, directed FDA (K) to cease and desist from indulging in all such acts/ conduct which were in contravention of the provisions of the Competition Act, 2002.

7th Nov, 2014

  • Global internet solution provider Tata Communications has reportedly become authorised partner for Google Cloud Platform.Reportedly, under the terms of this agreement, Google’s new service, Google Cloud Interconnect will connect with Tata Communications’ IZO Public platform that enables companies to set up their cloud computing facility. 

9th Nov, 2014

  • The National Green Tribunal, central zone has issued notices to the principal secretaries (Urban Development and Forests &Environment) and the District Collector of Kota seeking a reply on discharge of industrial effluent, mainly from thermal power plants, and sewerage water into Chambal River.
  • To meet the challenges of burgeoning air traffic, connecting remote areas, creating aviation hubs, ensuring safety and security and liberalizing bilaterals to move towards an ‘open sky’, a new draft civil aviation policy has been framed by the Government.The draft Civil Aviation Policy, on which the Government would seek the views of all stakeholders, would also focus on encouraging regional airlines and suggest steps to move towards lower fares to make aviation affordable. 

10th Nov, 2014

  • Market regulator Stock Exchange Board of India (SEBI) said it is revamping the listing agreement in general and Clause 36 in particular to make it mandatory for corporates to disclose ‘non-events’ for the benefit of investors.

12th Nov, 2014

  • In a bid to make it easier to produce oil and gas, the Government has notified a set of rules granting operational flexibility to firms like Cairn India and ONGC to start producing from several discoveries that are mired in contractual disputes.The Petroleum Ministry in a notification relaxed rigid timelines prescribed in the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) for development and production of oil and gas. 

16th Nov, 2014

  • In one of the reportedly biggest cross-border regulatory cooperation, the markets regulatory body, Stock Exchange Board of India (SEBI)has helped its counterpart in the US bust a major investment scam being run through online social media platforms. The ‘Profit Paradise’ scam was being run by two Indians — one based in Mumbai and another in Hyderabad — in the name of a ‘High Yield Investment Product (HYIP)’ wherein investors were being enticed through pervasive social media pitches on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and YouTube. Although operating from India, they disguised Profits Paradise’s physical location by providing the false Internet data, indicating that Profit Paradise’s operations were within the United States when they were not. While probing the case, the US markets regulator SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) sought assistance from its peers in India, Canada and Hong Kong. 
  • With an aim to empower consumers, the government, reportedly, plans to amend a law to allow customers to file case against sellers from their place of residence.As per current norms, the case has to be filed at the place of transaction. Also, the requirement of engaging lawyers in the consumer forums is likely to be done away with, if the goods or services availed is of less than Rs 2 lakh value. 

18th Nov, 2014

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) reportedly plans to scrap a requirement that 50 per cent of public shareholders would have to participate for a delisting to succeed. At its board meeting scheduled on November 19, SEBI is likely to say that companies would have to acquire 90 per cent of its own equity capital in order to delist successfully. But this would be subject to a condition that 25 per cent of the total number of public shareholders would have to tender their shares.

26th Nov, 2014

  • The Rajya Sabha approved the bill to amend the Labour Laws Act, 1988, which will simplify the procedures of filing returns for small firms. The bill will now be taken up in Lok Sabha in this session.This is one of the three amendments proposed, the other two being the amendments to the Apprenticeship Act of 1961 and amendments to the Factories Act of 1948.

28th Nov, 2014

  • Fair trade regulator, The Competition Commission of India (‘CCI’) has received a complaint against online retailers for indulging in alleged unfair business practices, Parliament was informed.The Confederation of All India Traders had also sought a probe into the business model and trade practices of e-commerce companies to find out how they are offering huge discounts in the ongoing festive season. 

05th Dec, 2014

  • The Supreme Court urged the Centre to make sure that websites like Google India, Yahoo India and Microsoft Corporation (I) Pvt Ltd do not carry contents in violation of the laws prohibiting sex determination of a foetus. ‘In our considered opinion, an effort has to be made to see that nothing contrary to laws of this country are advertised or shown on these websites,’ said a bench led by Justice Dipak Misra while rejecting an argument that the content on some websites could not be controlled since their servers were located abroad.

8th Dec, 2014

  • Vodafone Business Services(‘VBS’) – the enterprise arm of Vodafone India – has reportedly launched three key initiatives to spur the growth of Indian businesses, specifically focusing on medium-sized businesses with annual revenues of between Rs 50 crores and Rs 500 crores. These initiatives leverage the latest advances in technology-led communication and will enable businesses to increase productivity, reduce costs and improve customer-responsiveness.
  • In a big boost to ONGC, theOil Ministry is reportedly reworking the fuel subsidy sharing formula to cut its payout by a quarter through adjustment of statutory oil cess against its share. According to a new subsidy sharing formula, the payout of upstream oil producers like ONGC is to be reduced to the extent of Rs 4,500 per tonne oil development cess they pay to the government.

9th Dec, 2014

  • The Supreme Court lifted a three-year-old ban on hookah smoking holding that prohibition on ‘facilitating’ Hookah smoking in strictly smoking spaces is impermissible in law. Significantly, the court said ashtrays, match sticks, lighters and other things designed to facilitate smoking are not to be provided in public places. A bench headed by justice Ranjan Gogoi held that smoking prohibition only extended to public places and not spaces earmarked for smoking.
  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notified the government’s decision to increase foreign investment ceiling in defence sector and permitting 100 per cent FDI in railways infrastructure under the automatic route subject to conditions.

10th Dec, 2014

  • The Payment and Settlement Systems (Amendment) Bill, 2014 that aimed at bringing India’s banking payment system in sync with international practices was passed by the Lok Sabha on 9th December, 2014.
  • The Delhi High Court in a recent order said that tax information of private limited companies is confidential data and exempt from disclosure under the Right To Information (‘RTI’) Act. Currently, individuals are exempt from such disclosure, and the ruling extends the definition of individual in this context to private firms as well. 

12th Dec, 2014

  • Switzerland has reportedly charged a former computer analyst at HSBC’s private bank in Geneva with industrial espionage and breaching the country’s secrecy laws for passing confidential client data to foreign authorities. Herve Falciani gave prosecutors in France and Spain data on thousands of Swiss bank accounts. He has previously told Reuters that he is a whistleblower trying to help governments track down citizens who used accounts in Switzerland to evade paying tax. But Switzerland’s attorney general, which did not identify Falciani by name, said the former IT analyst had tried to profit from the data. It accused him of trying to sell the information to banks in Lebanon.

13th Dec, 2014

  • In a potential development that could deepen the decade-old commodity futures market, the RBI might permit foreign companies that have commodity exposure in the country but no presence here, to cover their price risk on commodity bourses like NCDEX and MCX.
  • The Lok Sabha has passed the Coal Bill that will facilitate auction of mines and allow the government to end state monopoly on the sector with an executive order.

14th Dec, 2014

  • Continuing an initiative held over from the previous regime, the NDA cabinet earlier this week, passed big changes to the Electricity Act, the main law which governs the economics of the sector. If passed by Parliament, consumers could get the choice to buy power from companies of their choice rather than being tied to a single provider as is the case in most states. At the same time though, this could accelerate a process by which state utilities’ losses deepen, imposing a heavy fiscal burden on their parent governments.

15th Dec, 2014

  • China’s top economic planning agency has released basic rules for a nationwide emissions trading scheme, expected to be launched in 2016. The regulations published by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) make formal China’s plans to launch an emissions trading scheme, set to be the world’s biggest.
  • Google could be fined up 15 million euros ($18.6 million) if it does not stop violating the privacy of Internet users in the Netherlands, the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA), said on Monday. As per DPA, the US company is breaching the country’s data protection act by using people’s private information such as browsing history and location data to target them with customised ads.

16th Dec, 2014

  • Bilateral investment treaties that the government will enter into from now on will have a provision preventing foreign investors to drag India to arbitration on any issues that have been settled by a judicial authority. Wiser from being dragged to arbitration in numerous cases, such as the Vodafone tax dispute, India is set to revise the model text for bilateral investment treaty. A draft Cabinet note has been circulated by the Finance Ministry for changing the draft in line with changing times.

17th Dec, 2014

  • Companies in India can now claim tax deduction on the non-compete fees that they pay to their senior executives such as CEO or CFO for not joining a rival firm for a certain period of time after quitting. The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) has clarified while ruling in favour of the Indian subsidiary of Swiss specialty chemicals firm Clariant that non-compete fee is revenue and hence can be allowed as deduction.

18th Dec, 2014

  • Lok Sabha, on December 17, passed a number of amendments to the Companies Act, which the government said will improve the ease of doing business, rectify drafting errors and tighten some provisions of the law. The amendments propose to relax the rules for related party transactions, drop the minimum capitalisation norms and prescribe a threshold for reporting fraud by auditors. They also prescribe penalty for companies raising deposits illegally.

19th Dec, 2014

  • Hyderabad based drug maker Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has acquired Habitrol brand, a nicotine replacement therapy transdermal patch, from Novartis Consumer Health Inc. The acquisition of Habitrol brand from Novartis Consumer Health Inc was done following issuance of the proposed consent order from the US Federal Trade Commission on November 26.

24th Dec, 2014

  • Coal India Limited (‘CIL’) and GAIL India Limited (‘GAIL’) have reportedly signed agreements to invest Rs 9,000 crore in a plant to convert coal into gas and use this fuel to manufacture fertiliser. CIL and GAIL along with Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers, and Fertilizer Corporation of India Limited will set up the integrate coal gasification cum fertiliser and ammonium nitrate complex at Talcher in Odisha by 2019.

26th Dec, 2014

  • The Union Cabinet had approved promulgation of the Ordinance on Insurance Bill and re-promulgation of the Coal Ordinance. The re-promulgation of ordinance on coal will facilitate e-auction of coal blocks for private companies for captive use and allot mines directly to state and central PSUs.

27th Dec, 2014

  • India and some other countries have got one more month from the US to sign the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (‘FATCA’), an agreement which seeks to facilitate flow of financial information. The initial deadline set by the US for signing FATCA was December 31, 2014.

31st Dec, 2014

  • The ordinance on Land Acquisition Act envisaging procuring land for industrial corridors, rural infrastructure, defence and housing received Presidential assent. Theordinance was cleared by Union Cabinet on December 29, 2014 and sent to the President for his clearance. The ordinance makes significant changes in the Land Acquisition Act including removal of consent clause for acquiring land for five areas, industrial corridors, PPP projects, rural infrastructure, affordable housing and defence. Under the amended Act, 13 legislations, including those relating to defence and national security, to provide higher compensation and rehabilitation and resettlement benefits to farmers whose land is being acquired have been brought under the Centre’s purview.

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