Legal & Regulatory

India’s Bankruptcy Code to Receive Critical Overhaul

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By Tracie Sloop Frost

In his maiden budget speech in July 2014, Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that an “entrepreneur friendly legal bankruptcy framework” would be developed as part of a move toward “higher growth, lower inflation, and a prudent policy stance” for India. Shortly afterwards, the Ministry of Finance set up the Bankruptcy Law Reform Committee (BLRC) to study the “corporate bankruptcy legal framework in India” and submit a report to the Government for reforming the system.

That preliminary report was submitted in February 2015. It now appears that a draft of a bankruptcy reform law may be ready for internal discussion by October 2015, and up for consideration at the presentation of the budget in February 2016.

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Establishing a Liaison Office in India

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By Dezan Shira & Associates

Liaison offices (LOs) are a popular option for foreign investors exploring the Indian market for the first time. In contrast to other business structures, LOs allow foreign companies to establish a light footprint in India while keeping their financial, legal and administrative commitments low.

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India Regulatory Brief: Reforms for NRI Pensions, Shipping Law Proposed

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Pension Scheme Reforms for NRIs

The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) is attempting to incentivize the National Pension System (NPS) for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). The PFRDA wants to ensure that NRI investment in the NPS,  a national defined-benefit pension scheme, receives favorable tax treatments. The PFRDA is working with the Central Board of Direct taxes (CBDT) to establish guidelines for taxing NPS investments.

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India’s new eBiz Portal: All You Need to Know

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editors: Nishant Dixit and Adam Pitman

In India, setting up a new business can be a complicated process for the uninitiated. Many foreign investors disparage of the bureaucratic red tape and slow-moving civil servants involved in the process. Although the infamous ‘License Raj’ has been slowly dying since India’s economic liberalization in the early 1990s, 25 years later India still maintains an abysmal ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report: 142 out of 189 economies.

The government has enacted a number of initiatives to improve the ease of doing business in the country, and ultimately the competitiveness of India’s economy. As part of this effort, the government launched an eBiz portal earlier this year offering single window processing of a number of essential government-to-business (G2B) services. The government will expand the eBiz portal in the years to come, but its first incarnation is promising for those who want to start a business in India.

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India Regulatory Brief: DoT Blocks 857 Websites, Maharashtra Incentivizing Retail

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DOT Blocks 857 Websites Featuring Adult Content

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on July 31 requested internet service providers (ISPs) to block 857 websites that feature adult content. In its letter to ISPs, the DoT claimed that these websites offended public ‘decency’ and ‘morality’.

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The Indian Parliament’s Monsoon Session: What Is Going to Happen?

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Aakash Shah

After more than one year into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s term, the political landscape looks decidedly less optimistic than it did in the immediate aftermath of Modi’s election. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition had hoped to pass several bills to support the government’s economic plans during the Monsoon Session of Parliament between July 21 and August 13. However, the NDA’s legislative agenda has been compromised by political mudslinging and a string of scandals.

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India Regulatory Brief: New Rules for Foreign-funded NGOs, Defense Exports

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New Reporting Requirements for Foreign-financed NGOs?

A local media report states that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has finalized language for the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2015. According to the report, the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2015 will require foreign-financed non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to complete Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) registration and financial reporting online. The report claims that these reforms are currently under review by the Ministry of Law and Justice; the MHA will announce the changes if and when approved.

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India Regulatory Brief: OTT, VoIP Regulations Recommended, Tribunals Set for Reduction

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OTT, VOIP Regulations Recommended

Last week, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) released a report on net neutrality that contains recommendations that could impact over-the-top content (OTT) and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service providers, such as Skype, Viber and WhatsApp. The DoT recommended that the government allow OTT messaging services, text messages sent via the internet, to continue unimpeded, but suggested that VoIP calls, calls made over the internet, should be regulated. Specifically, the DoT has advised the government to regulate domestic VoIP calls.

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