INDIA BUDGET 2017-18 – KEY HIGHLIGHTS
India’s Union Budget (the “Budget”) was announced on February 1, 2017, and the Finance Bill, 2017 (the “ Finance Bill”) was tabled in Parliament. Most of the income tax proposals in the Finance Bill will be effective from the financial year commencing on April 1, 2017, unless specified otherwise. The Finance Bill will be discussed in Parliament before its enactment, and therefore, it is likely that the Finance Bill may be amended as a result of these discussions.
PENALTIES IN COMPETITION LAW VIOLATIONS IN INDIA
In June 2011, the Indian government implemented the merger control regime under the Competition Act, 2002 (the “Act“) and the Competition Commission of India (Procedure in regard to the transaction of business relating to combinations) Regulations, 2011 (the ” Regulations“). While the Competition Commission of India (the “CCI“) is a fairly young regulator, over the years, the jurisprudence on Indian competition law and the merger control regime has developed substantially.
THE INDIA-SINGAPORE TAX TREATY HAS BEEN AMENDED
The bilateral double taxation avoidance agreement between India and Singapore (the “Singapore DTAA”) has been amended. On December 30, 2016, India’s Central Board of Direct Taxes announced the signing of the protocol (the “Protocol”) amending the Singapore DTAA. The Protocol will be effective from April 1, 2017. Although the text of the Protocol is awaited (as it has not as yet been ratified by the India’s Ministry of Finance), the key changes to the Singapore DTAA and their impact are listed below.
MINORITY SQUEEZE OUT UNDER THE COMPANIES ACT, 2013
On December 7, 2016, the Indian government notified several provisions of the Companies Act, 2013 (the “2013 Act”), including provisions on variation of shareholders’ rights, reduction of capital, mergers and amalgamations, winding up by the National Company Law Tribunal, and appointment of official liquidators, all effective from December 15, 2016. With this, Sections 235 and…
SEBI AMENDS NORMS FOR INVESTMENTS BY ANGEL FUNDS AND FPIS; IMPOSES RESTRICTIONS ON COMPENSATION AGREEMENTS
Introduction On November 23, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (the “SEBI”) approved several important changes to Indian securities regulations, including, an amendment to the SEBI (Alternative Investment Fund) Regulations, 2012 (the “AIF Regulations”) to ease the requirements for investment in start-ups by angel funds, an amendment to the SEBI (Foreign Portfolio Investor)…
RECENT UPDATES ON MFN, THE CYPRUS TREATY AND TAXABILITY OF OFFSHORE SUPPLY
There have been a number of important tax developments and cases in India over the last couple of months. In this update, we provide snippets on the new India-Cyprus tax treaty and other key direct tax cases. India-Cyprus Tax Treaty The double taxation avoidance agreement between India and Cyprus has been revised on November 18,…
CHANGES TO THE FOREIGN INVESTMENT AND BORROWINGS REGULATIONS
Introduction This update discusses certain key changes to India’s foreign exchange regulations implemented recently. Foreign investment in financial services Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (the “RBI”) notified an amendment to the Foreign Exchange (Transfer or Issue of Security by a Person Resident outside India) Regulations, 2000 (the “Foreign Investment Regulations”) permitting 100% foreign investment…
INDIA DEMONETIZES INR500 AND INR1000 NOTES – MOVING TOWARDS A CASHLESS ECONOMY
Major Reform In a big bang reform, effective midnight of November 9, 2016, the Indian government has banned INR500 and INR1000 currency notes (the “Banned Notes”). The decision has been taken to root out fake currency and cash (black) money, and eliminate corruption, terror funding and money laundering, which has been hurting India’s economy for decades….
SIMPLIFIED PROCESS FOR INCORPORATING COMPANIES
Introduction In the last couple of years, the Indian government has taken many initiatives to ease the process of incorporating a company in India and reduce the time frame to establish a business in India. On October 1, 2016, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs of the Government of India (the “MCA”) amended the Companies (Incorporation)…
SEBI CAUTIONS ONLINE CROWDFUNDING PLATFORMS; CLARIFIES APPLICABILITY OF INSIDER TRADING REGULATIONS
This update discusses the implications of a recent cautionary notice issued by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (the “SEBI”) in respect of equity funding websites catering to the capital requirements of Indian start-ups. Further, this update also discusses an informal guidance order issued by the SEBI to HDFC Bank Limited (“HDFC Bank”) in…