256 / 2021
Quote of the day
“The two most powerful things in existence: a kind word and a thoughtful gesture."
It is anniversary time – oh no, I am not referring to Women’s Day (8th March) or National Safety Day (4th March) or Employee Appreciation Day (yes it does exist – 3rd March) or Zero Discrimination Day (1st March and that’s what Google says). I am referring to Corona-induced lockdown. We had shut down our office a year ago – 16th March like so many others. It seemed like an obvious choice that would be reversed soon. Little did we all realise that a small gesture of precaution and safety demanded by the Governments would forever change the face of ‘working from office’ to ‘working from home’. The year gone by was the best teacher the world has had so far but the irresponsible students that many of us are, are not using a simple piece of cloth, called the ‘mask’. No wonder consequences are turning severe. Never underestimate the power of a small act, a small gesture, a small word – it could be the harbinger of a major change !
Who has not heard of the famous story of the poor Sudama who had nothing but just a small fistful of ‘poha’ (beaten rice) to offer to Lord Krishna when he visited his palace as a friend? By the time Sudama reached home, his humble hut had turned into a magnificent palace, thanks to the Lord’s blessings showered on a staunch devotee. It didn’t matter what was offered. What mattered were the feelings behind the offering !
Who is not aware of the Dandi March (Salt Satyagraha) where a small fistful of salt was picked up by Gandhiji in protest against the salt tax by the British rulers? A small gesture inspired a generation of Indians to join his cause for the liberation of our nation. The nation rose together in unison against the oppressive foreign rule.
Years ago, at a personal level, I experienced a deep emotion by the simple words of my little one. During a rather hectic week (when I was pursuing an executive management programme), one night I confessed to my husband that I am guilty of not giving enough time to him. Thinking that he was asleep I continued but suddenly he jumped out of the blanket, gave a mischievous smile and a tight hug. Thrusting his school English book into my hands, he said in his sweetest voice “I heard all you said amma. Don’t worry, mother’s love knows no bounds. I know you love me just like Juno the monkey”. I was speechless and moved deeply. Power of words and beauty of expression of a 5 year old 😊
Last week the same 5 year old turned 22 and it was the turn of my driver to surprise him. Though we all chide him that he cannot read or write any language, he expressed his affection for my son by a status update that had a collage of his pictures over the years along with a beautiful birthday song – his little daughter had created it by using an app. The emotions behind the act, the feelings behind the small gesture – they speak more than a 1000 words, they are worth more than expensive gifts. Feel it, say it !!
This 256th issue of Samhita has a round up of updates announced by almost all the regulators - MCA, RBI, SEBI, DGFT, IBBI, GST, MSME, IT, Labour. Almost all of them have said something or the other – big or small ! Yet this is only a few that we have carried amongst the plethora of changes happening across so many legislations. Well, the good news is the Government is seriously considering scrapping about 6000 compliances in the next one year at the central, state and local levels as part of the 75th Independence Day anniversary – perhaps to mark the freedom from compliances ! While we all lament about the compliances and worse still their complex nature, I was pleasantly surprised when one of the women startup entrepreneurs whom I was talking to recently, was happy that she could get all the registrations for her rental toys business quite easily, both at the central and state level. She vouched for Ease of Doing Business saying all her approvals were received digitally from home, without having to make any visits to any government office. This coming from a young woman from Kolkata seemed unbelievable but the genuine enthusiasm in her voice said it all. Lot of changes are underway and entry level experience is getting better but the journey ahead is besought with many challenges and bureaucracies. There is more to investigate, more to introspect and more to innovate and discard. This time, Balaji, our in-house English teacher draws your attention to different parts of speech of two commonly used words – ‘bank’ and ‘still’. You can certainly bank on him to provide a practical flavour to each of his ‘mini lessons’.
For any previous issues of Samhita and the readers’ feedback, please visit http://www.sharadasc.com/resource-center/.
Abridged Annual Return for OPCs & Small Cos
MCA vide Circular dated 05.03.2021, has notified a new Form MGT-7A – Abridged Annual Return for One Person Companies (OPC) & Small Companies. Small companies and OPCs from FY 2020-21 shall be required to file Form MGT-7A instead of Form MGT-7. A revised Form MGT-7 has also been notified.
In Form MGT-7A portions w.r.t. details of subsidiary and holding company, whether the company is listed on a recognised stock exchange, certification by practising professional (CS/CA/CMA) and applicability of MGT-8 have been removed.
The Circular also replaces the existing Explanation to Rule 30(2) of the Companies (Management and Administration) Rules, 2014, dealing with voting through electronic means in Nidhi Companies.
Form AGILE-PRO to include Aadhar authentication for GSTIN
MCA vide Notification dated 05.03.2021, has allowed stakeholders to also complete Aadhar authentication for GSTIN verification in Form AGILE-PRO at the time of incorporation of a company.
The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises vide Notification dated 26.06.2020, brought about a few major changes to the MSME framework. Further changes have been brought about to the Notification vide Notification dated 05.03.2021.
Questions arising in the minds of stakeholders after analysing the changes brought about by Notification dated 26.06.2020 included whether having GSTIN has become a mandatory requirement for MSMEs irrespective of whether they fall within the threshold limit to have GSTIN. Vide Notification dated 05.03.2021, the same has been clarified as the notification states that the requirement to have GSTIN shall be as per the requirements of CGST Act, 2017.
It has also been clarified that except for a sole proprietor, other forms of enterprises must quote their PAN for taking Udyam registration. A sole proprietor may quote the PAN in case it is not registered under any other Act.
Ministry of Labour & Employment
Code on wages (Central Advisory Board) Rules, 2021
The Code on wages (Central Advisory Board) Rules, 2021 have been notified vide Notification dated 01.03.2021. The Rules is among the first few Rules to be notified under the Wage Code. This Rule is limited to the Central Advisory Board which shall from time to time shall advise the Central government on matters referred to it. The Rules contain the following broadly:
Constitution of the Board
Additional functions of the Board – under the Wage Code the functions of the Board include advising the CG on wage fixation, revision of minimum wages and providing increased employment opportunities for women. In addition to these the Rules have specified a few more functions which the Board shall undertake.
Meetings, quorum, proceeding of meetings, method of voting to be adopted etc.
Tenure of members, terms for disqualification and others.
Online Adjudication, Appeal & Review proceedings
DGFT vide Notification dated 01.03.2021 has notified the transition of physical Adjudication, Appeals & Review proceedings to an Online Module. Highlights of the procedure to be followed are as below:
Notices for Personal Hearing will be issued online and the hearing will be through Video Conferencing or physical hearing at the time and place indicated in the Order (passed against the Show Cause Notice) at the discretion of the Adjudicating Authority(AA).
Exporters are required to ensure their email ids are updated on the DGFT database as failure to receive notices due to incorrect details would be the liability of the Noticee himself and not the AA.
Order for payment of penalty shall also be served online.
Exporters may file appeals online within the prescribed time limit, failing which the appeals will be automatically blocked by the online mechanism.
Complete Appellate proceedings will be conducted online.
Upto 31.03.2021 (i.e. transition period) filing of appeals manually shall be allowed. However the proceeding shall be conducted in online mode.
Review proceedings will be conducted through online mode only.
Residential status relaxation
The Central Board of Direct taxes (CBDT) has received various representations requesting for relaxation in determination of residential status for previous year 2020-21 from individuals who had come on a visit to India during the previous year 2019-20 and intended to leave India but could not do so due to suspension of international flights. The matter has since been examined by CBDT.
The Circular provides that if any individual is facing double taxation even after taking into account the relief provided by the relevant Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), he/she may furnish the specified information by 31.03.2021 in Form –NR annexed to the said Circular. This form is to be submitted electronically to the Principal Chief Commissioner of Income-tax (International Taxation). The Circular can be accessed on www.incometaxindia.gov.in.
Clarifications w.r.t. Dynamic QR on B2C invoices
The CBIC, recently issued the circular to clarify certain aspects related to applicability of Dynamic Quick Response (QR) Code on B2C invoices.
The Notification no. 14/2020-Central Tax, dated 21st March, 2020 is applicable to a tax invoice issued to an unregistered person by a registered person (B2C invoice) whose annual aggregate turnover exceeds 500 Cr rupees in any of the financial years from 2017-18 onwards. However, the said notification is not applicable to an invoice issued in following cases
Where the supplier of taxable service is:
an insurer or a banking company or a financial institution, including a non-banking financial company;
a goods transport agency supplying services in relation to transportation of goods by road in a goods carriage;
supplying passenger transportation service;
supplying services by way of admission to exhibition of cinematograph in films in multiplex screens
Online Information Database Access and Retrieval services (OIDAR) - supplies made by any registered person, who has obtained registration under section 14 of the IGST Act 2017, to an unregistered person.
Exports by Registered Persons to unregistered persons, since e-invoices are issued in terms of Notification no. 13/2020-Central Tax, dated 21st March, 2020 treating them as Business to Business (B2B) supplies.
It is important to note that dynamic QR code, in terms of Notification No. 14/2020-Central Tax, dated 21 March 2020 is required to contain the following information:
Supplier UPI ID
Payee’s Bank A/C number and IFSC
Invoice number & invoice date,
Total Invoice Value and
GST amount along with breakup i.e. CGST, SGST, IGST, CESS, etc.
Further, Dynamic QR Code should be such that it can be scanned to make a digital payment. Refer to the Circular for detailed clarifications relating to Online payment through apps, Pre-paid invoices, E-commerce supplies and others.
E-platform for filing list of stakeholders
As per IBBI (Liquidation Process) (Amendment) Regulations, 2021 the liquidator is required to file the list of stakeholders on the electronic platform of IBBI for dissemination on its website. The purpose of this requirement is to improve transparency and enable stakeholders to ascertain the details of their claims at a central platform. This requirement is applicable to every liquidation process i.e. ongoing as on the date of notification of the Regulations and commencing on or after the said date.
Vide Circular dated 04.03.2021, IBBI made the electronic platform available at www.ibbi.gov.in for filing of list of stakeholders as well as updating it thereof. The platform permits multiple filings by the liquidator as and when the list of stakeholders is updated by him. The format of list of stakeholders was also notified as an Annexure to the Circular.
IPs have been directed to file the list of stakeholders of the respective liquidation proceedings in the format as per the Annexure to the Circular within 3 days of the preparation of the list or modification. The filings due as on the date of circular are to be filed within 15 days of the Circular.
Code of conduct for MIIs
SEBI vide Circular dated 03.03.2021 has notified that all Stock Exchanges, Clearing Corporations and Depositories (collectively referred to as Market Infrastructure Institutions (MIIs)) are required to formulate a Code of Conduct and & set up an Institutional Mechanism for prevention of fraud or market abuse on the lines of Regulation 9(1) to 9(4) of the PIT Regulation, 2015. The Circular enlists what the Code of Conduct and Institutional mechanism should include.