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FDI Policy - Consolidated document released

24th April, 2012 The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion in the Ministry of Commerce has issued fifth edition of the consolidated FDI Policy document. As per Circular No. 1 of 2012, effective 10th April, 2012, investment by registered FIIs in commodity exchanges will no longer require Government approval. This relaxation brings the policy in line with that of foreign investment in res...

WTO adopts revised Government Procurement Agreement

7th April 2012 World Trade Organisation's Committee on Government Procurement has adopted the revised Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) on 30th March, 2012, after a final review. The review was consequent to  Ministerial Conference decision on 15th of December last year when a historic plurilateral agreement providing for opening up of domestic procurement markets for foreign traders was...

Differential tariff is not discriminatory

7th April, 2012 A long running debate fell short by a step yet again, as Rack Room Shoes could not prove gender discrimination by the US Government in fixing different classification / tariffs for men’s shoes and shoes for women and children. The Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) recently reiterated the decision of the Court of International Trade (CIT) and held that merely becau...

Benefits available to exporters & importers to continue

4th April, 2012 The Reserve Bank of India has extended two of the major credit-related benefits available to the importers and exporters. One of them pertains to interest rates on export credit in foreign currency and the other is on all-in-cost ceiling of trade credits for imports into India. As regards the interest rates on export credit in foreign currency, RBI Notification No. DBOD.DIR...

Cenvat credit can be utilized for payment of excise dues

31st March, 2012 Excise duty arrears can be paid by utilizing the Cenvat credit which has accrued subsequent to the period to which the arrears pertain. Circular No. 962/5/2012-CX issued by the Central Board of Excise & Customs on 28th March, 2012 clarifies this issue and states that the restriction on utilization of Cenvat credit accruing subsequent to the last date of the month/quarter in w...

Shares buyback by subsidiary taxable under capital gains

31st March, 2012 The Authority for Advanced Rulings examined whether buy back of shares by an Indian subsidiary – a public limited company from its parent would attract capital gains. The parent company based in Germany held 99.886% of the shares and the rest was held by 6 nominees. The applicant contended that as per Section 47(iv) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, the transfer of a capital as...

Patentability of diagnostic tests - Landmark ruling by US Court

23rd March, 2012 In its judgement delivered on 20th March, 2012 in Mayo Collaborative Services, DBA Mayo Medical Laboratories v. Prometheus Laboratories, the US Supreme Court has held that patents held by Prometheus were not valid. The Supreme Court held that "laws of nature are tools of scientific and technological work" and grant of patents that tie up their use will inhibit future innovati...

Prior intimation to RBI for raising FII/NRI limits for investments

23rd March, 2012 Indian company raising the aggregate FII investment limit to the sectoral cap/ statutory limit or raising the aggregate NRI investment limit, should intimate the same to the Reserve Bank of India, immediately. This intimation should be given along with a certificate from the Company Secretary stating that all the relevant provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 199...

Stock exchanges to give share-holding information to SEBI

23rd March, 2012 The Bombay High Court, in its recent judgment, has held that stock exchanges should keep SEBI informed regarding their shareholdings as required under the Securities Contracts (Regulation) (Manner of Increasing and Maintaining Public Shareholding in Recognized Stock Exchanges) Regulations, 2006 [in short MIMPS]. The court observed that the Petitioner and its promoters may be ...

Compulsory license granted to produce life-extending drug

23rd March, 2012 India has allowed application for compulsory licensing - the first of its kind. The Controller of Patents, Mumbai on 9th March, 2012, allowed Natco Pharma’s application for compulsory licensing to produce generic version of ‘Nexavar’ i.e. ‘Sorafenib Tosylate’ used for the treatment of advanced stages of kidney and liver cancer. The compound is presently covered by a patent he...

Budget 2012 - Service Tax hiked & negative list proposed

16th March, 2012 Service Tax rate will stand increased to 12% from 1st April, 2012 as part of Union Budget 2012-13. The rate of 10% at present provided by way of exemption is being withdrawn. Specific services like Works Contract Service having composition rate will also attract Service Tax at a higher rate from next financial year. Money changing, lotteries and life insurance services will ...

Budget 2012 - Excise duty enhanced across the board

16th March, 2012 Budget 2012 has enhanced the standard rate of Central Excise duty commonly known as ‘Cenvat’ to 12% from the present rate of 10% for non-petroleum goods. The merit rate of 5% duty has also been enhanced to 6%.  The rate of duty on goods which were brought under the central excise levy last year, with the imposition of 1% duty, has also been enhanced to 2% except for some exc...

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