Entries from August 2013 ↓

Overseas Direct Investments

RBI/2013-14/180
A. P. (DIR Series) Circular No.23

August 14, 2013

To

All Category-I Authorised Dealer Banks

Madam / Sir,

Overseas Direct Investments

Attention of Authorised Dealer Category – I (AD Category – I) banks is invited to the Notification No. FEMA.120/RB-2004 dated July 7, 2004, [Foreign Exchange Management (Transfer or Issue of Any Foreign Security) Regulations, 2004], as amended from time to time (the Notification) and the A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 11 dated September 26, 2007; A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 48 dated June 3, 2008 and A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 99 dated April 23, 2013. On a review, it has been decided to rationalize the regulations governing the overseas direct investments with immediate effect as under:

2. Reduction of limit for Overseas Direct Investment

In terms of the extant provisions under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA, 1999) on overseas direct investments, the total overseas direct investment (ODI) of an Indian Party in all its Joint Ventures (JVs) and / or Wholly Owned Subsidiaries (WOSs) abroad engaged in any bonafide business activity should not exceed 400 per cent of the net worth of the Indian Party as on the date of the last audited balance sheet under the Automatic Route.

It has now been decided:

To reduce the existing limit of 400 per cent of the net worth of the Indian Party to 100 per cent of its net worth under the Automatic Route. Accordingly, AD Category – I banks may allow overseas direct investments under the Automatic Route up to 100 per cent of the net worth of the Indian party, as on the date of the last audited balance sheet;

To reduce the existing limit of 400 per cent of the net worth of the Indian company, investing in the overseas unincorporated entities in the energy and natural resources sectors, under the automatic route, to 100 per cent of the net worth of the Indian company investing in the overseas unincorporated entities in the energy and natural resources sectors, as on the date of last audited balance sheet; and

Any ODI in excess of 100% of the net worth shall be considered under the Approval Route by the Reserve Bank of India.

3. In respect of the Navaratna Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) and Oil India Ltd (OIL), the extant provision for investing in overseas unincorporated entities and the overseas incorporated entities in the oil sector (i.e., for exploration and drilling for oil and natural gas, etc.), which are duly approved by the Government of India, without any limits under the automatic route, would however continue as hitherto.

4. The above provisions shall come into effect with immediate effect and would apply to all fresh Overseas Direct Investment proposals on a prospective basis but would not apply to the existing JV/WOS set up under the extant regulations.

5. AD Category – I banks may bring the contents of this circular to the notice of their constituents and customers concerned.

6. Necessary amendments to the Notification No. FEMA.120/2004-RB dated July 7, 2004, [Foreign Exchange Management (Transfer or Issue of Any Foreign Security) Regulations 2004] are being notified separately.

7. The directions contained in this circular have been issued under sections 10(4) and 11(1) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999 (42 of 1999) and are without prejudice to permissions / approvals, if any, required under any other law.

Yours faithfully,

(C.D. Srinivasan)
Chief General Manager

Liberalised Remittance Scheme for Resident Individuals- Reduction of limit from USD 200,000 to USD 75,000

Reserve Bank of India

RBI/2013-14/181
A. P. (DIR Series) Circular No.24

August 14, 2013

To

All Category-I Authorised Dealer Banks

Madam / Sir,

Liberalised Remittance Scheme for Resident Individuals- Reduction of limit from USD 200,000 to USD 75,000

Attention of Authorised Dealer Category – I (AD Category – I) banks is invited to the guidelines regarding the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) for Resident Individuals (the Scheme).

2. On a review of the scheme, it has now been decided to reduce the existing limit of USD 200,000 per financial year to USD 75,000 per financial year (April – March) with immediate effect. Accordingly, AD Category – I banks may now allow remittance up to USD 75,000 per financial year, under the scheme, for any permitted current or capital account transaction or a combination of both. Further, the following changes / clarifications in regard to the remittances under LRS will come into effect immediately :

(i). The scheme should no longer be used for acquisition of immovable property, directly or indirectly, outside India. Therefore, AD Category-I banks may henceforth not allow any remittances under the LRS Scheme for acquisition of immovable property outside India.

(ii). The scheme should not be used for making remittances for any prohibited or illegal activities such as margin trading, lottery etc., as hitherto.

(iii). Resident individuals have now been allowed to set up Joint Ventures (JV) / Wholly Owned Subsidiaries (WOS) outside India for bonafide business activities outside India within the limit of USD 75,000 with effect from August 5, 2013 and subject to the terms and conditions stipulated in Notification No.FEMA 263/RB-2013 dated August 5, 2013.

3. Further, the limit for gift in Rupees by Resident Individuals to NRI close relatives and loans in Rupees by resident individuals to NRI close relatives in terms of A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No.17 and 18 both dated September 16, 2011 shall accordingly stand modified to USD 75,000 per financial year.

4. All other terms and conditions mentioned in A. P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 64 dated February 4, 2004, A. P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 24 dated December 20, 2006, A. P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 51 dated May 8, 2007, A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No.36 dated April 4, 2008, A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No.17 and 18 both dated September 16, 2011 and A.P.(DIR Series) Circular No. 106 dated May 23, 2013 shall remain unchanged.

5. Necessary amendments to the Notification No. FEMA.1/2000-RB dated May 3, 2000, [Foreign Exchange Management (Permissible Capital Account Transactions) Regulations 2000] are being notified separately.

6. AD – Category I banks may bring the contents of this circular to the notice of their constituents and customers concerned.

7. The directions contained in this Circular have been issued under Section 10 (4) and 11 (1) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (42 of 1999) and are without prejudice to permissions / approvals, if any, required under any other law.

Yours faithfully,

(C.D. Srinivasan)
Chief General Manager

Key Highlights of Companies Bill, 2013

  1. —  Uniform Financial Year for all the Companies i.e from April to March. (Exception where in approval from the National Company Law Tribunal have been granted).
  2. —   A Private Company can now have maximum of 200 members.
  3. —   Concept of One person Company have been introduced. (But the Company can only be incorporated as a Private Company).
  4. —   Object Clause of Memorandum of Association need not be divided into Main, Ancillary and Other Objects Clause.
  5. —   All types of securities are governed by Bill.
  6. —   The money raised by the Company through prospectus, cannot be used for any other purpose other than the purpose for which it was raised unless a special resolution have been passed and the said proposal is published by way of an advertisement. Otherwise an exit opportunity shall be provided to the existing shareholders of the Company.
  7. —  The prospectus has to be more detailed.
  8. —  If a Company, listed or unlisted, makes an offer to allot or invites subscription, or allots, or enters into an agreement to allot, securities to 50 or such higher number as may be prescribed, whether the payment for the securities has been received or not or whether the Company intends to list its securities or not on any recognized stock exchange in or outside India, the same shall be deemed to be an offer to the public and shall accordingly be governed by the provisions provided in this regard by the Securities And Exchange Board of India(SEBI). 
  9. —   There is no provision for issue of shares at a discount (other than issue of Sweat Equity Shares).
  10. —  The provisions of clause related to further issue of capital will now be applicable to all type of companies.
  11. —   Apart from existing shareholders, if the Company having share capital at any time proposes to increase its subscribed capital by issue of further shares, such shares may also be offered to employees by way of ESOP, subject to the approval of shareholders by way of Special Resolution. 
  12. —  Buyback provisions eased. Companies can buy back its shares even if it has defaulted in repayment of deposit or interest payable thereon, redemption of debentures or preference shares or payment of dividend to any shareholder or repayment of any term loan or interest payable thereon to any financial institution or bank, provided that such default has been remedied and three years have lapsed after such default ceased to subsist.  
  13. —  NBFCs not to be covered by the provisions relating to acceptance of deposits. They will be governed by the Reserve Bank of India rules on acceptance of deposits.
  14. —   Companies can accept deposits only from its members after seeking permission of its shareholders at a general meeting.  
  15. —  Certain public companies, as prescribed, can accept deposits from persons other than its members, subject to conditions such as credit rating.
  16. —   Bill provides for registering of all types of charges.
  17. —   Certification of Annual Return by practicing company secretary mandatory in case of companies with prescribed paid up capital and turnover.
  18. —   First annual general meeting of a company shall be held within nine months from the closure of its first financial year .
  19. —  Postal Ballot to be applicable on all Companies, whether listed or not.
  20. —  Every company has to follow the Secretarial Standards while preparing the minutes of board and general meeting.
  21. —   Listed companies required to file a return in a prescribed form with the Registrar regarding any change in the number of shares held by promoters and top 10 shareholders of such company, within 15 days of such change.
  22. —   Listed public companies to prepare a report, in the manner as may be prescribed, on each annual general meeting including the confirmation that meeting was convened, held and conducted as per the Act and the Rules made thereunder.
  23. —  Interim dividend declared by a Company in a current financial cannot exceed the average rate of dividend of the preceding three years if a company has incurred loss up to the end of the quarter immediately preceding the declaration of such dividend.
  24. —   Transferring of a fixed percentage of profits to reserve before declaration of dividend is not mandatory in the Bill.
  25. —   Financial Statements shall include Balance Sheet, Profit & Loss Account and Cash Flow Statement collectively.
  26. —   Provisions for re-opening or re-casting of the books of accounts of a company provided.
  27. —  The National Advisory Committee on Accounting Standards renamed as The National Financial Reporting Authority.
  28. —  The authority to advise on Auditing Standards and Accounting Standards.
  29. —  Every company is required at its first annual general meeting (AGM) to appoint an individual or a firm as an auditor. The auditor shall hold office from the conclusion of that meeting till the conclusion of its sixth AGM and thereafter till the conclusion of every sixth meeting. The appointment of the auditor is to be ratified at every AGM.
  30. —  Individual auditors are to be compulsorily rotated every 5 years and audit firm every 10 years in listed companies & certain other classes of companies, as may be prescribed.
  31. —   Prescribed class or classes of companies to have atleast one woman director.
  32. —   At least one director should be a person who has stayed in India for a total period of not less than 182 days in the previous calendar year.
  33. —  At least one-third of the total number of directors of a listed public company should be independent directors. Existing companies to get a transition period of one year to comply.
  34. —   Companies can have maximum of 15 directors.
  35. —  A person can hold directorship of up to 20 companies, of which not more than 10 can be public companies. The number 20 to include Private Companies aswell.
  36. —   A director can participate in a board meeting through video conferencing or other audio visual mode as may be prescribed.
  37. —  A notice of not less than 7 days in writing is required to call a board meeting. The notice of meeting to be given to all directors, whether he is in India or outside India by hand delivery post or electronic means.
  38. —   Every company with more than 1,000 shareholders, debenture-holders, deposit-holders and any other security holders at any time during a financial year shall constitute a Stakeholders Relationship Committee consisting of a chairperson who is a non-executive director and such other members as may be decided by the board.
  39. —  In a private company, an interested director cannot vote or take part in the discussion relating to any matter in which he is interested.
  40. —  The provisions related to inter-corporate loans and investments (section 372A of Companies Act, 1956) has been extended to include loans and investments to any person. 
  41. —  Loans can be given to a Director without seeking permission of the Central Government.
  42. —   No central government approval required for entering into any related party transactions.
  43. —   No approval of the central government required for appointment of any director or any other person to any office or place of profit in the company or its subsidiary.
  44. —  The Bill prohibits insider trading in the company. 
  45. —  The Bill provides provisions related to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
  46. —  Provisions relating to the appointment of managing director/whole time director/manger to apply to a private company.
  47. —   The Bill provides for provision related to secretarial audit in certain prescribed class or classes of companies.
  48. —  The Bill prescribes the functions of a company secretary.
  49. —   The conditions under which the Registrar can remove the name of a company from his record have been changed.
  50. —  The Registrar of Companies has been empowered to file an application with the Tribunal for restoration of the name of a company where the company was struck off inadvertently or on the basis of the incorrect information.
  51. —  The manner of declaring a company sick and process of its revival and rehabilitation has been completely rationalized.
  52. —   Any document or returns required to be filed under this Bill, if not filed within prescribed time, have to be filed within a period of 270 days on payment of such additional fees as may be prescribed.
  53. —   New definition of Nidhi Company prescribed.
  54. —   The person to be appointed as President of the Tribunal shall be the judge of the High Court for atleast 5 years, as opposed to the Companies Act 1956, where no term has been prescribed for High Court Judge to be appointed as President; the only condition was that the person should be qualified for being a judge of high court.
  55. —  The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal shall now consist of a combination of technical and judicial members not exceeding 11, instead of 2 as provided in the Companies Act 1956.
  56. —  The Bill makes provision for cross border amalgamations between Indian companies and companies incorporated in the jurisdictions of such countries as may be notified from time to time by the central government.

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