Legal News Update from Ministries 2017
A. CABINET DECISIONS
1A. Cabinet approves Protocol amending the Convention between India and Portugal for the avoidance of double taxation (April 19, 2017). The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister of India has approved the signing of the Protocol for amending the Convention between India and Portugal for the avoidance of double taxation. The Protocol will also ensure prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income. It further said that once the protocol enters into force, both India and Portugal would be able to exchange tax-related information, which will help tax authorities of both countries to curb tax evasion. This Convention was in force since April 30, 2000. The Convention was applying to following categories mentioned below. This Convention shall apply to taxes on income imposed on behalf of a Contracting State or of its political or administrative sub-divisions or local authorities, irrespective of the manner in which they are levied.
This Convention was in force since April 30, 2000. The Convention was applying to following categories mentioned below. This Convention shall apply to taxes on income imposed on behalf of a Contracting State or of its political or administrative sub-divisions or local authorities, irrespective of the manner in which they are levied.
(a) This Convention shall apply to taxes on income imposed on behalf of a Contracting State or of its political or administrative subdivisions or local authorities, irrespective of the manner in which they are levied.
(b) There shall be regarded as taxes on income all taxes imposed on total income or on elements of income, including taxes on gains from the alienation of movable or immovable property and taxes on the amounts of wages or salaries paid by enterprises.
(c) The existing taxes to which this Convention shall apply are in particular:
In the case of Portuguese Republic:
|(i )||Personal income-tax|
|(ii )||Corporate Income-tax ;|
|(iii )||Local surtax on corporate income-tax;|
In the case of Republic of India, income tax including any surcharge thereon.
The Convention shall apply also to any identical or substantially similar taxes which are imposed after the date of signature of the Convention in addition to, or in place of, the existing taxes.
1B. An Agreement on Social Security (SSA) between India and Portugal was already signed on 4th March 2013 in New Delhi. On February 7, 2017, Portugal on completion of the relevant constitutional and legal formalities conveyed to the Indian side that it is ready to bring the SSA into force. Accordingly, the SSA between India and Portugal would come into force on 8th May 2017.
The SSA with Portugal will provide the following benefits to Indian nationals working in Portugal:
- For short term contract, up to 5 years, no social security contribution would need to be paid under the Portuguese law by the detached workers provided they continue to make social security payments in India. The above benefits shall be available even when the Indian company sends its employees to the Republic of Portugal from a third country.
- Indian workers shall be entitled to the export of the social security benefit if they relocate to India after the completion of their service in Portugal. Self-employed Indians in Portugal would also be entitled to the export of social security benefit on their relocation to India.
- The period of contribution in one contracting state will be added to the period of contribution in the second contracting state for determining the eligibility for social security benefits.
B. MINISTRY OF CORPORATE AFFAIRS
The Ministry has provided for the incorporation of a company in one day with following features outlined.
REDUCTION IN PROCEDURES: Five Procedures for Starting a Business are now integrated and can be done simultaneously in One step. Using the newly launched integrated e-Form SPICe, stakeholders now apply for Company Name, Company Incorporation, DIN of the directors, PAN and TAN for the newly incorporated company, and avail all FIVE services simultaneously. The requirement of a company seal has also been removed vide Company (Amendment) Act, 2015.
REDUCTION IN COST/FEES: The fee for incorporation (of the integrated e-Form SPICe /INC-32) has been reduced from INR 2000 to INR 500. The cost incurred by a company for company seal is also eliminated, as the requirement for a company seal has been removed vide amendment to the Companies Act, 2013.
REDUCTION IN TIME: The time taken for processing company incorporation applications has been reduced drastically from between 5 to 15 working days in June 2014, to an average of 0.6 working days in March 2017. Similarly, the processing time for name availability applications has been brought down significantly from between 5 to 6 working days in June 2014, to an average of 0.4 days in March 2017. In addition, more than 90% applications are being approved within 1 working day.
C. MINISTRY OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS, FOOD & PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION
Service Charge levied by Resturants: Clarification issued by Ministry. Payment of service charge with the hotel bills is not uncommon. Many complaints were raised related to it and hence the Ministry has issued following press release on the issue
D. MINISTRY OF WATER RESOURCES, RIVER DEVELOPMENT, AND GANGA REJUVENATION
1. Draft of National Water Framework Bill, 2016
E. MINISTRY OF WOMEN AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT
1. Standard Operating Procedure for Missing Children: as provided on the Ministry of Women and Child Development Website is given below.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Bachpan Bachao Andolan vs. Union of India (WP (Civil) 75 of 2012) on 10th May 2013 had directed formulation of a Standard Operating Procedure for cases of Missing Children. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 under section 2 (14) (vii) includes a „Missing Child‟ as a „child in need of care of protection‟ and in Rule 92 of the “Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016”, a procedure of inquiry regarding a missing child has been laid down.
F. DEPARTMENT OF EMPOWERMENT OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
The Department has issued notification dated March 10, 2017, for objections and suggestions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules, 2017
G. MINISTRY OF TOURISM
H. MINISTRY OF TEXTILE
F. MINISTRY OF ROAD TRANSPORT AND HIGHWAYS
Website of the Ministries