The Government of India has reviewed the extant FDI policy for curbing opportunistic takeovers/acquisitions of Indian companies due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and amended para 3.1.1 of extant FDI policy as contained in Consolidated FDI Policy, 2017 as under:
(a) A non-resident entity can invest in India, subject to the FDI Policy except in those sectors/activities which are prohibited. However, an entity of a country, which shares land border with India or where the beneficial owner of an investment into India is situated in or is a citizen of any such country, can invest only under the Government route. Further, a citizen of Pakistan or an entity incorporated in Pakistan can invest, only under the Government route, in sectors/activities other than defence, space, atomic energy and sectors/activities prohibited for foreign investment.
In the event of the transfer of ownership of any existing or future FDI in an entity in India, directly or indirectly, resulting in the beneficial ownership falling within the restriction/purview of the para 3.1.1(a), such subsequent change in beneficial ownership will also require Government approval.
MCA and SEBI seek an essential service status for auditors of listed companies
Listed companies are required to disclose their audited annual financial statements within 60 days of the end of financial year, i.e. by May 31. However, SEBI has extended the deadline for financial results of listed companies for FY2019-20 to June 30, 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, the auditors of listed companies are not in a position to visit sites physical verifications and interactions with the management of the companies whose financial results are audited. This would take time and effort. Therefore, in order to deal with such matter, the market regulator, SEBI has written to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to take up the matter of permitting auditors of listed companies to operate from April 20, 2020 with the Ministry of Home Affairs.
CBIC takes measures to help taxpayers in GST compliances amid COVID-19 situation
CBIC has processed 12,923 refund applications involving claims of Rs. 5,575 crore since March, 2020. In order to reduce delay in processing refund claims, classification codes of services/capital goods on is made part of refund application. Bunching of tax periods across financial years is allowed on applications filed after 31.03.2020. Due date of all such applications falling during the period 20-3-2020 and 29-6-2020 extended to 30-6-2020.
MCA extends timeline for Name Reservation and Re-submission for Cos. and LLP’s due to COVID-19 pandemic
In view of the situation arising due to COVID-19 pandemic , the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has extended timeline for Name Reservation and Re-submission for Companies & LLP’s by 20 days. As per norms, INC-24 –Application for Name Change (to be filed within 60 days) now, names expiring any day between 15.03.2020 to 03.05.2020 would be extended by 20 days beyond 03.05.2020, clarifies MCA.
Govt. brings ordinance to protect health workers against violence, prescribes 7 yrs jail for attacking health staff
The Government has brought an ordinance to end violence against health workers. Any violence against health worker will carry imprisonment for a period of 6 months to 7 years if found guilty. The Government has amended the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897, and now assaults on healthcare workers will be considered as cognizable and non-bailable offence.