The Ministry of Finance has issued a notification dated March 07, 2023 (“Notification”), classifying entities that engage in specific activities (see below) related to Virtual Digital Assets (“VDA(s)”) in the course of business, as “persons carrying on designated business or profession” Therefore, such entities are now considered “Reporting Entities” under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 and the corresponding rules (“PMLA”).
Ministry of Finance
Directors’ Vicarious Liability under Current Legal Regime of Negotiable Instruments Act: An Analysis of Evolving Judicial Precedents
Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (“NI Act”), ascribes criminal liability for dishonour of a cheque. The purpose of the provision has been held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court to be the promotion of efficacy of banking operations and to ensure credibility in transacting business through cheques.[i] Since a large number of such transactions and cheque payments are done by companies, the very same intent appears to be captured in Section 141 of the NI Act, which extends vicarious criminal liability on officers associated with the company or firm. The law on Section 141 of the NI Act has been clarified and elaborated upon from time to time. However, the broad principle guiding the extent of liability remains the involvement of the director concerned in the day-to-day business affairs of the company. This is, however, not a straight-jacket formula, and the nuances determining the extent of liability need to be examined closely.…
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Trade Remedy Measures Against Solar Cells: An Update
As anticipated in our last blog on this subject , solar cells continue to be at the heart of to-and-fro trade remedy measures being undertaken by various countries. The Government of India has fired the most recent salvo by notifying the imposition of safeguard duty on solar cells through the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.
The termination of the anti-dumping investigation by the Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) may have allowed a temporary sigh of relief to those rooting for exports. But that has been largely offset because of the safeguard duty investigation by the Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS).
The safeguard duty investigation was initiated based on a petition filed by the Indian Solar Manufacturers Association (ISMA) with the DGS requesting imposition of a safeguard duty on imported solar cells from China, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan.…
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FDI and Unregulated Financial Services
Most sectors of the economy have been completely liberalised for foreign direct investment (FDI) and the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) was abolished in June 2017. Policy watchers in this space were, therefore, taken unawares by a cryptic announcement by the Ministry of Finance on 16 April, 2018, on the “Minimum capital requirements for ‘other financial service’ activities which are unregulated by any financial sector regulator and FDI is allowed under government route”.
Why the Press Release
To put it in perspective, this announcement has its genesis in the RBI’s FEMA Notification No. 375/2016-RB dated September 9, 2016, which was a big ticket change, doing away with the nearly two decades old stipulation of minimum capitalisation in the NBFC sector. The playing field was thus levelled and the financial sector regulations could prevail in an ownership agnostic fashion.
The formal Press Note announcing this change in fact came subsequently (see Press Note 6 of 2016 dated October 25, 2016). FEMA 375 firmly placed all regulated financial services activities in the fold of the respective financial regulators, instead of the latter having to concern themselves with the ownership pattern of the entity.
FEMA 375, however, laid down that activities that are not regulated by any regulator, or where only part of the activity is regulated, or where there is doubt regarding regulatory oversight, approval would need to be obtained from the Government with attendant minimum capitalisation requirements as may be decided by the Government. It is not known , in the public domain, as to how many approvals in the ‘unregulated financial services’ space have actually been accorded post issuance of FEMA 375. This information would have been useful. Be that as it may, what has been set out in the press release of April 16, 2018 is perhaps the way for the future.…