Category Archives: regulatory

packaged commodities rules

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1770064

To safeguard interest of consumers, the Department of Consumer Affairs under Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has omitted the Rule 5 of the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities), Rules 2011 defining the Schedule II prescribing the pack sizes of various types of commodities. A new provision has been introduced to indicate the unit sale price on pre packed commodities, which will allow easier comparison of the prices of the commodities at the time of purchase.

Earlier, the month and year in which the commodity is manufactured or pre-packed or imported was required to be mentioned in the package. Representation from Industry and associations in this respect has been received to remove this ambiguity.

For reducing compliance burden and removing the ambiguity of declaration of date on pre packedcommodities for consumers, the declaration has now been required to the month and year in which the commodity is manufactured for the pre packed commodities.

The provisions of declarations of MRP has been simplified by removing illustrationand providing for making the mandatory declaration of MRP in Indian currency inclusive of all taxes. This has allowed the manufacturer/packer/importer to declare the MRP on the pre packed commodities in a simplified manner.

Rules for declaring the commodities sold in pre packed commodities in numbers have been eased out for reducing the compliance burden for manufacturer /importer/packer. Earlier such declarations could be denoted as ‘N’ or ‘U’ only. Now the quantities can be expressed in terms of the number or unit or piece or pair or set or such other word which represents the quantity in the package. This will remove the ambiguity of declaration of quantity sold by number in pre packed commodities.

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telegraph right of way

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1765755

The Central Government has notified the Indian Telegraph Right of Way (Amendment) Rules, 2021 on 21st October 2021 to incorporate the provisions related to nominal one-time compensation and uniform procedure for establishment of Overground Telegraph Line in the Indian Telegraph Right of Way Rules, 2016. The amount of one-time compensation for establishment of overground telegraph line will be maximum one thousand rupees per kilometre. Documentation for RoW application for overground telegraph line has been made simple. Also, there will be no fee other than Administrative fee and Restoration charges for establishing, maintaining, working, repairing, transferring or shifting the underground andovergroundtelegraph infrastructure.

These amendments will ease Right of Way related permission procedures for establishment and augmentation of Digital Communications Infrastructure across the country. With a robust pan India digital infrastructure, the digital divide between rural-urban and rich-poor will be bridged; e-governance and financial inclusion will be strengthened; doing business will be easy; information and communication needs of citizens and enterprises will be fulfilled; and ultimately the dream of India’s transition to a digitally empowered economy and society will be translated into reality.

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energy accounting

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1762940

As an important step under the ongoing power sector reforms, Ministry of Power today mandated electricity distribution companies to undertake energy accounting on periodic basis. The regulation in this regard was issued by Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) with the approval of Ministry of Power, under the provisions of Energy Conservation (EC) Act, 2001. The notification stipulates quarterly energy accounting by DISCOMs, through a certified Energy Manager, within 60 days. There will also be Annual energy audit by an independent Accredited Energy Auditor. Both these reports will be published in the public domain.  Energy accounting reports will provide detailed information about electricity consumption by different categories of consumers & the transmission and distribution losses in various areas.  It will identify areas of high loses and theft and enable corrective action.  This measure will also enable fixation of responsibility on officers for losses and theft.  The data will enable the DISCOMS to take appropriate measure for reducing their electricity losses.  The DISCOMs will be able to plan for suitable infrastructure up-gradation as well as demand side management (DSM) efforts in an effective manner.  This initiative will further contribute towards India’s climate actions in meeting our Paris Agreement Goals.

These regulations have been issued under the ambit of Energy Conservation Act, 2001, with an overall objective to reduce distribution sector in-efficiency and losses thereby moving towards economic viability of DISCOMs. BEE has certified a pool of National Accredited Energy Auditors and Energy Managers who possess expertise in preparing energy accounting and audit reports, duly providing recommendations for loss reduction and other technical measures. The aforesaid regulations were pre-published in April 2021 for seeking public comments and thereafter Ministry of Power held detailed discussions with various stakeholders before finally issuing these regulations.

In September 2020, through a separate notification, all the Electricity Distribution Companies were notified as Designated Consumers (DCs) under the EC Act. Owing to the potential benefits of energy auditing on the entire distribution system and retail supply business, it was imperative to develop a set of comprehensive guidelines and framework such that all Distribution utilities across India can adhere to and formulate actions.

Energy Accounting prescribes accounting of all energy inflows at various voltage levels in the distribution periphery of the network, including renewable energy generation and open access consumers, as well as energy consumption by the end consumers. Energy accounting on periodic basic and subsequent annual energy audit, would help to identify areas of high loss and pilferage, and thereafter focussed efforts to take corrective action. The Regulations issued today provides much awaited broad framework for Electricity Distribution Companies to carry out Annual Energy Audit and Quarterly Periodic Energy Accounting with necessary Pre-requisites and reporting requirements to be fulfilled.

Objectives to be achieved through periodic energy accounting are:

  • Development of a comprehensive energy accounting system to quantify and determine actual losses in the power distribution system, segregated across technical and commercial losses.
  • Identify areas of leakage, theft, wastage or inefficient use, thereby paving the way for tackling the present challenges of high Transmission and Distribution (T&D) losses.
  • Enable and ensure an independent 3rd party energy audit of the distribution system to arrive at a true and fair picture of T&D losses.
  • To enable the Distribution utilities to undertake targeted efficiency improvement activities to reduce T&D losses in priority areas / customer segments.
  • Providing a basis for prioritizing energy capital investments and help budget more accurately to achieve maximum results.
  • Identification of overloaded segments of the network for necessary capacity additions.

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FSSAI directions for food business during covid

Press Release of FSSAI dated 20th April, 2021 giving directions for facilitating food business during covid 19

To facilitate the continuity of food business operations during the prevailing COVID-19 outbreak, the Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has taken immediate steps to ensure uninterrupted food services/supply during the current scenario.
FSSAI has reiterated and clarified that Import clearances of food items and testing services by FSSAI’s notified
laboratories (including both public and private laboratories) are Essential Services.
Directions, with immediate effect have been issued to:

  1. Allow FBOs, other than manufacturers, to temporarily operate their businesses on the basis of a valid receipt
    of FSSAI license/ registration application having 17- digit Application Reference Number (ARN) generated
    upon online application and fee payment on FoSCoS. This will enable quick expansion of logistic supply
    chains, warehouses, retail outlets, catering, food service establishments etc. wherever required. New
    businesses can start operating once they successfully file a complete application on FOSCOS. This is an
    interim relief measure, the licence/ registration will need to be secured before the expiry of the relaxation.
  2. Manufacturers are allowed to increase/ enhance their capacity, on the basis of a valid receipt of FSSAI
    license/ registration application having 17- digit Application Reference Number (ARN) generated upon
    online application and fee payment on FoSCoS. This will enable immediate upscaling of production facilities
    without waiting for regulatory approvals.
  3. No routine inspections are required to be done except in case of high risk food product viz. Milk and milk
    products, slaughter houses, meat and meat products etc. However, food safety authorities can conduct
    inspections in case of select cases on basis of risk profiling or in case of any food emergency/ incidents and
    complaints. Where feasible, inspections can be done by e-inspection.
  4. The deadline for returns for 2020-21 has been extended till 30th, June 2021. All returns are required to be
    filed online on FOSCOS.
  5. No penalty shall be payable for late filing of application for renewal of licenses.
    These measures are until and shall cease w.e.f. 30.06.2021 irrespective of the status of lockdown/ curfew/ containment at any location. More details are available at http://www.fssai.gov.in

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FASTag mandatory from 1.1.21

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1683339

Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs Shri Nitin Gadkari today announced that FASTag is being made mandatory for all vehicles in the country from new year. Addressing a virtual function today, he said, FASTag will be enforced from 1st of January, 2021. Enumerating its benefits, he said, it is useful for the commuters as they will not need to stop at toll plazas for cash payments. It also saves time and fuel. 

The FASTags were launched in the year 2016, and four banks together issued nearly a lakh of them. By 2017, their numbers went up to seven lakh. Over 34 lakh FASTags were issued in 2018.

Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had issued a notification in November this year making FASTag mandatory by 1st of January 2021 in old vehicles also sold before 1st December, 2017 through amendments in CMVR, 1989.

As per Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, since 1st December 2017, the FASTag had been made mandatory for all registration of new four wheeled Vehicles and is being supplied by the Vehicle Manuracturer or their dealers. It had further been mandated that the renewal of fitness certificate will be done only after the fitment of FASTag for the Transport Vehicles. For National Permit Vehicles, the fitment of FASTag was mandated since 1st October 2019.

It has also been mandated that a valid FASTag is mandatory while getting a new 3rd Party Insurance through an amendment in FORM 51 (certificate of Insurance), wherein the details of FASTag ID shall be captured. This shall be applicable w.e.f. 1 April 2021.

This would be a major step for ensuring that the payment of fees be 100% at Toll Plazas through the Electronic Means only and that the vehicles pass seamlessly through the Fee Plazas. There would be no waiting time at the Plazas and would save fuel.

The steps for ensuring the availablity of FASTag at multiple channels are being made through physical locations and also through online mechanism so that the citizens are able to have them affixed at their vehicles within the next two months at their convenience.

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FDI in defence sector

Revised Press Note no. 4 dated 17th September, 2020 issued by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.

  1. Present Position
  2. 5.2.6.1 Defence Industry subject to Industrial license under the Industries
    (Development & Regulation) Act, 1951 and Manufacturing of small
    arms and ammunition under the Arms Act, 1959
    100% Automatic up to 49% Government route beyond 49% wherever it is likely to result in access to modern technology or for other reasons to be recorded
    5.2.6.2 Other Conditions
    i. Infusion of fresh foreign investment within the permitted automatic route level, in a company not seeking industrial license, resulting in change in the ownership pattern or transfer of stake by existing investor to new foreign investor, will require Government approval.
    ii. Licence applications will be considered and licences given by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, in consultation with Ministry of Defence and Ministry of External Affairs.
    iii. Foreign investment in the sector is subject to security clearance and guidelines of the M/ o Defence.
    iv. Investee company should be structured to be self-sufficient in areas of product design and development. The investee/joint venture company along with manufacturing facility, should also have maintenance and life cycle support facility of the product being manufactured in India.
  3. Revised Position
    The Government of India has reviewed the extant FDI policy in Defence sector and the policy will now be read as under:
    5.2.6 Defence Industry subject to Industrial license under the
    Industries (Development & Regulation) Act, 1951 and Manufacturing of small arms and ammunition under the Arms Act, 1959
    100% Automatic up to 74% Government route beyond 74% wherever it is likely to result in access to modern technology or for other reasons to be
    recorded
    5.2.6.2 Other Conditions
    i. FDI up to 74% under automatic route shall be permitted for companies seeking new industrial licenses.
    ii. Infusion of fresh foreign investment up to 49%, in a company not seeking industrial license or which already has Government approval for FDI in Defence, shall require mandatory submission of a declaration with the Ministry of Defence in case change in equity/shareholding pattern or transfer of stake by existing investor to new foreign investor for FDI up to 49%, within 30 days of such change. Proposals for raising FDI beyond 49% from such companies will require Government approval.
    iii. Licence applications will be considered by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, in consultation with Ministry of Defence and Ministry of External Affairs.
    iv. Foreign investment in the sector is subject to security clearance by the Ministry of Home Affairs and as per guidelines of the Ministry of Defence.
    v. Investee company should be structured to be self-sufficient in the areas of product design and development. The investee/joint venture company along with the manufacturing facility, should also have maintenance and life cycle support facility of the product being manufactured in India.
    vi. Foreign Investments in the Defence Sector shall be subject to scrutiny on grounds of National Security and Government reserves the right to review any foreign investment in the Defence Sector that affects or may affect national security.
  4. The above decision will take effect from the date of FEMA notification.

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Development Council for footwear & leather industry

PIB press release dated 15th September, 2020

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has issued a notification, constituting Development Council for Footwear & Leather Industry (DCFLI). Shri R K Gupta will chair DCFLI for 2 years. 24 other members have also been nominated.

The Development Council for Footwear and Leather Industry has been established for the formulation and implementation of promotional and developmental measures for the growth of labour intensive footwear and leather sectors in India. To boost domestic production and encourage exports, the Developmental Council is envisaged to play a very proactive role in preparing a futuristic vision for development, designing and manufacturing of high quality world-class footwear and leather products in India.

https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1654620

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