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.

The PFRDA wants to ensure that NPS investments made through Non-Resident External (NRE) accounts receive favorable tax treatments, particularly with respect to withdrawals.The reforms are primarily designed to assist Indian laborers in the Middle East, where employers rarely make social security contributions, but the reforms should also benefit other NRIs as well as India-based banks.

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TRAI Releases New Regulations for Telecoms

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recently issued the Telecom Consumers Protection (Eighth Amendment) Regulations, 2015. The regulations are designed to protect consumers and improve telecommunication service provision. Under the Telecom Consumers Protection (Eighth Amendment) Regulations, 2015, telecommunication service providers must regularly update consumers on their mobile data usage and provide an easier option for consumers to cancel services.

According to the Telecom Consumers Protection (Eighth Amendment) Regulations, 2015, telecommunication service providers will need to update consumers after every 10 megabytes (MB) of mobile data usage. Service providers will need to update consumers on special data packs after they use 50, 90 and 100 percent of their data. Beyond these notifications, TRAI now requires mobile service providers to make it easier for consumers to activate and deactivate services.

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International Shipping Law Reform Under Consideration

According to a Bloomberg report, the Indian government is currently reviewing plans to reform laws that affect international shippers in India. Currently, foreign ships are not allowed to travel between Indian ports, which the report estimates costs India approximately USD $260 billion in lost shipping revenue every year. A senior port official quoted in the report said that government is considering a plan to scrap the law, which would allow Indian ports to compete more effectively with ports in Singapore and Colombo, Sri Lanka.


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