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Taking Advantage of India’s Improving Business Environment – New Issue of India Briefing Magazine Out Now

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ib-2016-04-improving-business-environmentThe new issue of India Briefing magazine, titled “Taking Advantage of India’s Improving Business Environment“, is out now and available as a complimentary download in the Asia Briefing Publications Store through the month of December.
                        

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Bill on India’s Ports Approved

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By Pritesh Samuel

The government on December 14 cleared the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2016, which replaces the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963. The new bill is expected to give more autonomy and flexibility to ports in the country. The bill will help in faster and transparent decision making as it reorients the government model in central ports to the landlord port model which is in line with global practices.

Landlord Port Model

In the landlord port model, the port authority acts as a regulatory body and the landlord, with private companies carrying out port operations, mainly in cargo handling activities. The port authority maintains ownership of the port, while the infrastructure is leased to private companies that maintain their own buildings and install their own equipment to handle cargo. The port authority in turn gets a portion of the revenue from the private enterprises. As per the new bill, port authorities will be able to lease land for port activities for up to 40 years and for non-port activities up to 20 years. For longer leases, government approval will be needed.

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Tax Planning for NRIs Returning to India

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By Tracie Sloop Frost

Editor’s Note: This article was first published on July 29, 2015 and has been updated to accommodate regulations.

The decision to return permanently to India is a serious matter for many Indians living abroad. Not only does this decision involve questions of familial and social benefits, health considerations, and nostalgia for home, it also requires careful financial planning and preparation. In this article, we examine some of the most common areas of financial planning for returning Non-Resident Indians (NRIs).

In general, investment and tax provisions relating to NRIs returning to live in India are fairly generous. However, NRIs should carefully plan their return to India to ensure there are no surprises with respect to managing their overseas income and investments.

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Has the AI and IoT Revolution Hit India?

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By Melissa Cyrill

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) dominate Ericsson ConsumerLab’s annual trends report for 2017 – a direct reflection of the explosive proliferation of advanced technological implements for every realm in our lives, from our homes to the workplace to our smartphones to culture and entertainment. Today, consumers, IT companies, scientists, and manufacturing firms – all overlap in their acknowledgement, acceptance, and adoption of automated technologies, applications, and self-thinking machines. Above and beyond, these are seen to enhance the modern lifestyle, reduce operating costs, and accelerate the pace of invention and innovation.

In other words, AI, IoT, virtual reality (VR), and merged reality (MR) have altogether disrupted the two-dimensional interface of internet communications technology (ICT) and its application in our lives.

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Remitting Money from India: Procedures and Regulations

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Nishant Maddineni

Editor’s Note: This article was first published on January 30, 2015, and has been updated as of December 7, 2016 to incorporate the latest regulatory developments.

CB-illustrationSending money outside of India can often be a daunting procedure for both foreign businesses and expatriates living in the country. There are various schemes and regulations that limit how much money can be remitted and for what purpose. 

Outward remittance generally has to be approved under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999, which regulates all transactions involving foreign exchange. The act is aimed at making external trade and payments easier as part of the country’s economic liberalization in the 1990s. 

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Industry Spotlight: India’s Growing Aviation Sector

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By Pritesh Samuel

India’s Aviation Market is on a high growth path and aims to be the third-largest market by 2020 and the largest by 2030. At present, India is the ninth largest civil aviation market with a size of around US$ 16 billion. The growth of the airline industry is also expected to boost other sectors from manufacturers, ground handling services, tourism boards, shippers, and so on. The city of Bangalore in the southern state of Karnataka is India’s aviation manufacturing hub and accounts for around 65 percent of the country’s aviation manufacturing output.

India’s domestic passenger air traffic has grown steadily; it rose by 23.14 percent between January and August 2016, to reach 64.47 million from 52.36 million during the same period in 2015. Aircraft movement as of July 2016 at Indian airports was 168,400, which was a 14.3 percent increase over that observed during the same period last year. International aircraft movement also increased by 8.2 percent, compared to last year. The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) states that domestic air traffic is expected to cross 100 million passengers by financial year 2017, compared to 81 million passengers in 2015. While the Indian aviation market is extremely competitive, airlines operating in the country are expected to record operating profits of US$ 1.29 billion in 2016. The air transport sector supports 8 million jobs and contributes around US$ 72 billion to the GDP. Foreign investment in the sector from April 2000 to March 2016 was valued at US$ 931.05 billion.

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Expecting in India: Employee Maternity Pay and Leave

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Editor’s Note: The article has been updated to incorporate the latest regulatory developments.

By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Rebecca Choong Wilkins

In an interview last year, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw – founder of Biocon, India’s biggest biotechnology company – spoke of the obstacles facing India’s female workforce. Namely, the attitudes of women returning to work after taking a leave of absence, such as maternity leave.

According to Mazumdar-Shaw, women in India tend to backtrack, opting for less ambitious roles which waste their expertise and experience. She identified mentorship and not policy as the means to instigate change. Before this, however, ensuring employers are in compliance with maternity laws can be its own challenge.

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Introducing the New Forms for Company Incorporation in India

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By Melissa Cyrill

India’s Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) recently introduced the SPICe Form INC-32, which stands for Simplified Proforma for Incorporating Company Electronically. The new form follows from the 2015 merger of securing allotment of the Director Identification Number (DIN), name approval, and incorporation application within a single process through Form INC-29 (under the amended Companies Act, 2013). In October this year, the MCA took a step further and established the ‘Companies (Incorporation) Fourth Amendment Rules, 2016’ to facilitate this integration via the electronic format through the SPICe Form INC-32, the e-Memorandum of Association (eMOA) in Form INC-33, and the e-Articles of Association (eAOA) in Form INC-34, besides few other changes.

With the latest amendments, the government will be able to provide and regulate fast and efficient incorporation services within stipulated time frames, in line with international best practices.

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