The Reserve Bank Of India Mandates Compounding For Issuance Of Partly Paid-Up Units By AIFs Prior To March 14, 2024

The Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) vide its circular dated May 21, 2024 (“Circular”),[1] has required that issuance of partly paid-up units by Alternative Investment Funds (“AIFs”) to foreign investors prior to March 14, 2024, should be regularised through compounding under Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (“FEMA”). Compounding by RBI is prescribed for the contravention of foreign exchange regulations as per Foreign Exchange (Compounding Proceedings) Rules, 2000, and involve payment of a fees. In many instances, compounding requires payment of a monetary penalty to RBI.Continue Reading The Reserve Bank Of India Mandates Compounding For Issuance Of Partly Paid-Up Units By AIFs Prior To March 14, 2024

Context

The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (“PMLA”), which came into force w.e.f. July 01, 2005, was enacted pursuant to India’s international obligations inter alia under the Vienna[1] and Palermo[2] Conventions, the Political Declaration and Global Programme of Action (1990)[3] adopted by the UN General Assembly, and to give effect to the recommendations made by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for combating money laundering (popularly known as the “Forty Recommendations”)[4].Continue Reading Spotlight: Why PMLA Scheduled Offences need a fresh look?

WOS Exemption

Context:

Ever since the stock market scam of 2001 (Ketan Parekh Scam) was brought to light, regulators have been vigilant about the use of complex corporate structures to circumvent statutory restrictions and divert company funds. After the magnitude of financial irregularities in the Ketan Parekh Scam came to light, the Joint Parliamentary Committee (“JPC”) and the erstwhile Department of Company Affairs (“DCA”) proposed steps to prevent  companies from using the ‘subsidiary route’ to siphon off funds, by providing inter-corporate loans.[1]Continue Reading The Layering Restrictions & WOS exemption – Need for Regulatory clarity

LSF – The Journey

The uniform ‘late submission fee’ (“LSF”) is a relatively new concept in the Indian exchange control regime. The Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (“FEMA”), as originally introduced by the legislature, did not envisage the concept of LSF. Resolving a delay in reporting of equity or debt transactions under FEMA would necessarily require compounding of offences before the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”). Given that compounding is not the most time efficient or simple process, it implied that even for insignificant or genuine delays, parties would have to undergo several steps, thus making the system clogged with late filings and filings becoming more cumbersome than they needed to be.Continue Reading Uniformisation of Late Submission Fee under FEMA: A One Stop Shop?

GIFT City

Introduction

The onset of Global In-house Centres (“GICs”) in India was driven by global financial services companies seeking to drive costs down and access India’s large talent pool across various locations. These factors together made it a compelling case for GICs to invest in India to setup large centres which performed a variety of functions across technology, risk, AML, operations, research, credit analysis, etc., for a wide variety of businesses, from retail banking, wholesale banking to investment banking, located in various foreign countries. This model has been visibly successful in driving the upskilling of a large talent pool in India and enabling significant cost advantages to the financial services companies that have implemented this model.Continue Reading GICs in IFSC, GIFT City: A Combination to Unlock Value

Arbitral Award

I. Introduction

One of the quintessential features of an arbitration friendly jurisdiction is a robust award enforcement mechanism. Often such enforcement mechanisms are determined by the interpretation of ‘public policy’ of each jurisdiction. In India, the trajectory of public policy has witnessed dramatic advancements, resulting in a much narrower scope and ambit of interpretation. Consequently, Indian courts have adopted a pro-enforcement stance and this pattern can be observed even in the arbitral awards that have been passed in disputes relating to exchange control laws and securities regulations.Continue Reading Enforcement of a Foreign Arbitral Award: Calcutta High Court Contextualises Fundamental Policy of Indian Law

Overseas Direct Investment

Background

Outbound investments in India have witnessed a significant decline from its peak in the golden period of 2005-08. As per the data collated by the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”), in July 2011, the total outbound financial commitment was at USD 5,478.15 million. This figure has declined over the decade to USD 2,047.79 million in December 2021.Continue Reading RBI’s proposed regulatory architecture for the ODI Regime – Does it meet India Inc’s expectations?

Delegated Legislation

Background

Over the last few decades, there has been a trend where only a small fraction of law stems directly from ‘legislations’ passed by the Parliament. In the sphere of corporate law, the tendency of the law makers is to enact ‘bare-bone’ statutes such as the SEBI Act, 1992 (“SEBI Act”) and the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (“FEMA”), and a bulk of the law is enacted by the designated regulators, such as the MCA, SEBI and RBI.Continue Reading The Rise & Rise of Delegated Legislation – Do we need more Safeguards?

IFSC Banking Units – offshore branches with onshore dispute resolution

The Gujarat International Financial Tec-City (“GIFT”) in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, is India’s first operational greenfield smart city, housing a domestic tariff zone and an International Financial Services Centre (“IFSC”) in a Multi-service Special Economic Zone (“SEZ”). As part of developing India’s very own and first IFSC, both Indian and foreign banks are permitted to establish and operate IFSC Banking Units (“IBU”) from GIFT IFSC, upon obtaining the requisite licenses and permissions. The IBUs have the advantage or the ability to transact in freely convertible foreign currencies in the offshore markets, while being situated within the territorial borders of India. From 2015 to early 2020, the Reserve bank of India issued notifications and regulations related to the IFSC framework. Thereafter, on April 27, 2020, the International Financial Services Centres Authority Act, 2020, was notified, pursuant to which the International Financial Services Centres Authority (“IFSCA”) was established on October 1, 2020, as the unified regulator with wide powers to develop and regulate financial products, financial services, and financial institutions in IFSCs, including IBUs.Continue Reading IFSC Banking Units – offshore branches with onshore dispute resolution?