In a progressive move, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has notified a modification to the Information Technology Act, 2000 (“IT Act”), which opens new doors for electronic execution of contracts.Continue Reading Electronic Execution of Contracts – A step towards Digital India
Partner in the Projects and Project Finance practice at the Mumbai office of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, Subhojit has a wide range of experience in banking, projects, project financing, structured financing and debt restructuring across various sectors including Solar, Wind, Road, Thermal, Oil & Gas, Transmission, Real Estate, Ports, Hydro, Warehousing, Aviation, Automobile. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector plays a crucial role in enhancing and ensuring India’s socio-economic development. The sector has gained significant importance due to its contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and exports. A survey by International Labour Organisation indicates that MSMEs account for more than 70% of global employment and 50% of GDP.Continue Reading The Curious Case of Co- Lending Model
The renewable energy sector, while promising an environment friendly production of clean electricity, has posed a threat to the environment in certain situations. Recently, a public interest litigation before the Supreme Court, brought forward one such environmental hazard posed by the sector. The overhead transmission lines installed around solar and wind power projects (“Projects”) are posing an extinction risk to endangered birds (such as (i) the Great Indian Bustard (GIB); and (ii) the Lesser Florican).Continue Reading Flight and Fall Transmitting Power: Judicial Initiative to Retain Ecological Balance in Society
The premise of project financing lies in financing of infrastructure projects undertaken by a special purpose vehicle (“Borrower”), the repayment of which is broadly dependent on the cash flows generated by the projects itself rather than the balance sheet of the Borrower or its promoter/sponsor. The onset of public private partnership (“PPP”) regime in the project financing space in India has been instrumental in implementation of multiple commercially viable projects. The PPP projects are projects based on a contract or concession agreement, between Government or statutory entity on one side and a private sector company on the other side, delivering public utility infrastructure services which can be availed on payment of user charges. It provides an opportunity for private sector participation in financing, designing, construction, operation and maintenance of public sector programme and projects. The licence to develop such projects is given by the statutory authority in various models like build, operate, transfer (BOT), build, develop, operate and transfer (BDOT), build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) and toll, operate and transfer (TOT). In most cases, PPPs combine the best of both worlds: the private sector with its resources, management skills and technology and the public sector with its regulatory actions and protection of public interest.
Continue Reading Rapid Metro Judgment: Reinforcing the Sanctity of Contracts and Public Good
Execution of a document means the placement of signatures by all persons who are required by the character of the instrument to sign the same in order to give it a binding effect under law. It is based on the classic principle of consensus ad idem i.e. two parties entering a contract should agree upon the same thing in the same sense. One amongst the many problems for closure of transactions posed by COVID-19 is the mechanism of execution of documents. The traditional way of executing agreements involved the parties to be physically present at a place and affix the signatures, stamps, common seals, etc., along with paying the necessary stamp duty as prescribed under the relevant stamp laws. However, with the imposition of a nationwide lockdown, travel restrictions and norms of social distancing in place, the manner of execution of documents has had to be reimagined.
Continue Reading NeSL: THE NEW WAY OF ELECTRONIC EXECUTION
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the society in an unanticipated and unprecedented way. To contain its spread, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India vide its order dated March 24, 2020 directed closure of commercial and private establishments for a period of twenty one days. Immediately thereafter, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) issued an order dated March 25, 2020 directing the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to take action as per the said MHA order (including suspension of tolling operations on the toll plazas) and added that prevailing condition may be treated as ‘force majeure’ under the concession agreements executed by NHAI with the developers.
MoRTH thereafter directed NHAI to resume toll collections from April 20, 2020. However, the suspension of toll operations until April 20, 2020, the lockdown period thereafter and the steep fall of the traffic plying on the national highways, has significantly impacted the entire transportation industry, exposing developers to high risk and financial distress with no visibility of normalcy in the near future.Continue Reading Covid-19: Bumpy roads ahead for Highway Sector
After more than three months of lockdown, there is no denying that the Indian economy has been impacted. This is also evidenced by the stimulus packages announced by the Government of India, in an attempt to protect and revive the economy. With most people staying indoors 24*7, electricity consumption in the commercial sector was also impacted initially, although the levels have been restored in a phased manner. This coupled with different lockdown strategies in different states, is also continuing to impact business at large. Taking into account the impact of COVID-19 across the globe, and the lockdown in the country, the government of India and certain central agencies have been providing clarification and issuing memorandums/notifications to guide the infrastructure industry, specifically the renewable energy (RE) sector, and RE projects in terms of COVID-19 being declared as a force majeure (FM).Continue Reading COVID-19 Cloud Cover: Not so sunny times for renewable energy sector!
To battle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the central government and the various state governments imposed a nationwide lockdown in India. Additionally, to arrest the spread of the pandemic, government authorities and corporates are promoting “work from home”, and wherever necessary to work with minimum work force. Acknowledging the difficulties faced by corporates on account of the threat posed by COVID-19, requiring social distancing in day-to-day functioning, governmental authorities have granted various exemptions and reliefs by issuing circulars and amending rules to ease compliance requirements to be complied by companies.
This blog analyses the recent reliefs and relaxations announced by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India (MCA), and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), which may have an impact on financing transactions.Continue Reading Social Distancing while approving financing transactions: MCA, SEBI Relaxations
The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedent crisis throughout the world and has caused widespread disruptions in normal operations across industries and life in general. In India, the National Disaster Management Authority determined that India was threatened by the spread of Covid-19 pandemic and took steps to prevent the spread of the pandemic in the country under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. On March 24, 2020, the Ministry of Home Affairs declared a 21-day lockdown under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 with effect from March 25, 2020. Such lockdown has been subsequently extended three times by the Ministry of Home Affairs and now remains in force till May 31, 2020.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has been issuing guidelines to determine the operation of essential and non-essential services during the period of lockdown and has attempted to restrict movement of persons throughout the country. The guidelines have caused States to close their borders and even movement within a State has been prohibited, unless it is in relation to an essential service. At the time of the first order of lockdown, the Ministry of Home Affairs excluded the ‘operation of seaports for cargo movement, relief and evacuation and their related operational organisations’ from the ambit of the lockdown. However, due to the disruptions in the supply chain, the inter-state and intra-state movement restrictions and the spread of Covid-19 pandemic, there has been an impact on operational as well as under construction port projects.
Continue Reading Covid-19 – Navigating Choppy Waters for Port Projects
While the health crisis has brought the country to its knees, the fatal blow seems to be coming our way from the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The exposure of the severely-stressed para banking industry to risky segments in these times has made it even more vulnerable to an economic slowdown. With its asset quality deteriorating at an increasing rate, the liquidity in para banking industry has been squeezed off to its last drops.
The impact of the liquidity crisis across various classes of non-banking financial companies (“NBFCs”) may be analysed vis-à-vis the exposure it has towards the borrower segments whose economic activities have been severely impacted. With the economic and consumption activities a bust in sectors such as real estate and micro-finance, the NBFCs with loan exposures in the said sectors will be hit the worst in the wave of this global pandemic. The increasing loan losses and inaccessibility to new capital is likely to exacerbate the liquidity stress.
Continue Reading Battling Covid-19 and Liquidity– The Twin Crisis of NBFC sector