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Legal 500 Doing Business in India

Contributed by Economic Laws Practice

Doing Business in India

Introduction

Economic Growth

India is the world’s sixth largest economy by nominal gross domestic product (GDP). According to the data, India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has amounted to USD 2.59 trillion and the  country’s economy has grown at a seven-quarter high of 7.7 per cent in the last three months ended March 2018 . India is projected to further grow at 7.4% of its GDP in 2019 as against China’s 6.8%, making it the fastest growing economy amongst emerging economies. According to the figures of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), India received USD 7.59 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) during April-June 2016-17.  In the ease of doing business report 2019 released by the World Bank on India climbed 23 places from 100 to 77 among the 190 countries surveyed .

The year so far as of June 6, 2018 has recorded 542 deals—M&A and PE—worth $71 billion (INR     4.48 lakh crore), a significant value, which is the highest year-to-date value recorded and supported by increased big ticket transactions, according to the estimates of Grant Thornton India. In 2017, there were 1,147 such transactions worth USD 57.85 billion .

 

Liberalisation of the Regulatory Framework

The Liberalisation of industrial and trade policies during the 1980s was accompanied by an increasingly receptive attitude towards regulatory reforms. The Industrial Policy Resolution of 1956 and the Statement of Industrial Policy of 1991 provided the basic framework for the overall industrial policy of India. Reforms which are being progressively implemented relate to investment licensing, taxation, particularly indirect taxation, prices and distribution systems, and trade. Over the years, India has removed restrictions on investment and expansion and facilitated easy access to FDI. With a view to liberalise the FDI in the country, the Government has increasingly brought a number of sectors under the automatic route, where no government approval is required. For instance, FDI in Single Brand Retails Trading was liberalized to permit FDI beyond 49% up to 100% under the Government approval route with effect from January 10, 2018. 100% FDI is permitted in Single Brand Retail Trading and Construction Development whereas foreign airlines have been permitted to invest up to 49% in Air India .

 

 

Tax Reforms

India has a robust taxation system at par with global standards. It also has double taxation avoidance agreements with most of the advanced jurisdictions. The Government of India in 2017 introduced the Goods and Service Tax (GST) regime. The GST regime broadly based on the OECD International VAT/GST Guidelines, subsumes most indirect taxes such as sales tax and excise tax and introduces a single destination-based consumption tax.

 

Established Judicial System

India has a single integrated judicial system with Supreme Court of India as the apex court at the top of the pyramid. An important feature of the Indian judicial system is that it’s a ‘common law system’. In a common law system, law is developed by the judges through their decisions, orders, or judgments. Enforcement of contract is at the heart of the judicial reforms being undertaken in the country. As a step in that direction, and to enhance the rights of the stakeholders, the jurisdiction of the Company Law Board, the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction, Appellate Authority for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction, and the company law jurisdiction of High Courts in relation to winding up, amalgamation, mergers, and all other matters is now consolidated and referred to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). The focus of NCLT is time-bound dispensation of proceedings.


 

Start-up India Policy

 

On January 16, 2016, at an event organised by the DIPP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Start-up India’ initiative and unveiled the much awaited ‘Start-up India Action Plan’. This action plan lists a comprehensive set of structural and regulatory reforms necessary to build a strong ecosystem for start-ups, in order to result in sustainable economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities. The plan comprises of a 19-point action list which envisions, amongst others, setting up of incubation centers, easing patent filings, tax -exemptions, setting up a INR 10,000 crore corpus fund for start-ups, easing setting-up of businesses, self-certification, and a faster exit mechanism. The Government has introduced a number of reforms to give impetus to the start-up ecosystem in India. To attract more FDI, the start-ups are permitted to issue the convertible notes, for an amount of INR 25, 00,000/- or more in a single tranche, which evidence receipt of money initially as debt, and are repayable at the option of the holder, or are convertible into equity shares of startup company upon occurrence of specified events, however the conversion period cannot exceed (five) 5 years.

 

Conclusion

The regulatory environment in India today is more conducive for conducting business. With a number of regulatory reforms in the pipeline, India is likely to attract more interest from foreign investors in the coming years. In this chapter, we have analysed, in detail, the requirements and considerations while investing and doing business in India. Though this chapter is a broad guide for carrying on business in India, it is highly recommended that a comprehensive legal advice from our team of experienced professionals is obtained prior to establishing business in India. Nothing herein is construed as legal advice provided to any of the readers.

 

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Conducting Business in India

India is an attractive destination for foreign investors and a non-resident entity looking to enter the Indian market may make use of one of the following avenues:

  1. Incorporating a new company;
  2. Setting-up a joint-venture with an Indian partner;
  3. Incorporating a limited liability partnership (LLP); or
  4. Setting-up a liaison office (LO) or branch office (BO) or Project Office (PO).

 

Incorporating a New Company:

A new company can be incorporated as a private limited company or a public limited company. A private limited company is required to have a minimum of two (2) shareholders and two (2) directors and a public company is required to have a minimum of seven (7) shareholders and three (3) directors. Every company shall have at least one director who stays in India for a total period of not less than one hundred and eighty-two days during the financial year. In case of a newly incorporated company this requirement shall apply proportionately at the end of the financial year in which it is incorporated.

The wholly owned subsidiary of the foreign entity is treated as a resident entity for the purpose of company law, and the Income Tax Act. However, for the purpose of exchange control regulations, the wholly owned subsidiary of the foreign entity, while making downstream investment in India, needs to comply with the guidelines issued by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in relation issue/transfer/pricing/valuation of capital from time to time.

By introducing the Companies (Incorporation) Fifth Amendment Rules, 2016, which came into effect from January 1, 2017, incorporating a company in India has been made easier. The company is required to make a filing with the Registrar of Companies, i.e. SPICe Form INC-32, which now integrates a number of steps involved in incorporation of a company into a single step making the process of incorporation much faster. SPICe Form 32 contemplates allotment of a director identification number (DIN) to a director who does not hold a valid DIN and the company’s Permeant Account Number (PAN), Tax Deduction and Collection Account Number.

(TAN) registration can be obtained easily in a single step. The Registrar of Companies takes a maximum of two (2) working days to inform deficiencies or issue the certificate of incorporation of the new company once all required documents have been submitted to it. The approximate time taken to collate the requisite documents and incorporate a new company would be 3-4 weeks.

Prior to 2015, minimum paid-up share capital requirement for a private company was INR 100, 000/- and for a public company was INR 500, 000/-. This minimum capitalization requirement under the company law has been done away with.  However, depending upon the sector in which the company operates, the sectoral regulator, e.g. RBI for non-banking financial companies etc., may prescribe minimum capitalization requirements. 

With effect from June 13, 2018, any person acquiring beneficial interest in the shares of a company is required to make a declaration to the company specifying the nature of his interest and the particulars of the person in whose name the shares stand registered in the books of the company.  The Company whose shares are being invested in is required to make a note of such declaration in the register of members. Pooled investment vehicles/Investment funds such as Mutual Funds, Alterative Investment Funds (AIFs), Real Estate Investment Trusts and Infrastructure Investment Trusts regulated under the SEBI Act are exempt from the above requirements. However, pursuant to General Circular No.8- 2018, dated September 10, 2018, the requirement for stakeholders to file a declaration in form BEN-1 has been relaxed until the final form BEN-1 is notified by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India.


 

Joint Venture with Indian Partner

 

Joint-venture (JV)with an Indian partner is a preferred option in sectors where the foreign investor and/or collaborator is looking at the Indian partner to provide support in market penetration or for procuring regulatory approvals etc. While dealing with the Indian partner, the joint venture agreement which captures the provisions in relation to governance mechanism, reporting requirements to the shareholders, dead-lock on decision making, exit provisions needs to be robust in order to protect the interest of the foreign investor and/or collaborator. It is pertinent to capture the transfer restrictions and the governance mechanism in the constitutional documents of the joint venture company in order to make such provisions enforceable against the joint venture company. The courts and tribunals in India are increasingly inclined to give effect to the contractual rights and obligations of the parties captured in the joint venture agreement, sometimes disregarding the technical objections raised by one of the contacting parties.

 

Incorporating an LLP

LLP is a relatively new vehicle in India. It combines the advantages of a company, such as being a separate legal entity having perpetual succession, with the benefits of operational flexibility associated with a partnership. An LLP is required to have minimum of two (2) partners and two (2) designated partners who are individuals and out of which, one (1) of them should be a resident in India. There is no personal liability of a partner except in the case of a fraud. Moreover, a partner is not responsible or liable for another partner’s misconduct or negligence as there is no joint liability in the case of LLP. A foreign entity can invest in an LLP under the automatic route, where the LLP operates in sectors and/or activities where 100% FDI is allowed through the automatic route and there are no FDI-linked performance conditions. Further, distribution of profits to partners of the LLP is specifically exempt from tax and hence, there is no tax (equivalent to dividend distribution tax as in case of a company) in India when the LLP distributes profits to its partners.


 

Liaison Office, Branch Office or Project Office

To open an LO, BO or PO, depending on the principal business being carried out by the foreign entity, the nationality of the foreign entity, and the organizational structure of the foreign entity, an approval of the Authorised Dealer Category – I Bank (AD Bank) or RBI is required. If the principal business of the foreign entity falls under sectors where 100% FDI is permitted under automatic route, the approval of AD Bank will suffice, in all other cases, the approval of RBI will be required.

LO cannot carry out any business in India or earn any income in India but can merely serve as a conduit for communication between the foreign entity and other persons in India. BO is only entitled to be engaged in the activities in which the parent company is engaged. Additionally, it can carry out ancillary activities such as (i) export and/or import of goods; (ii) rendering professional or consultancy services; (iii) carry out research work in which the parent company is engaged; (iv) promote technical or financial collaborations between Indian companies and parent or overseas group company; (v) represent the parent company in India and act as buying and/or selling agent in India; (vi) render services in information technology and development of software in India; (vii) render technical support to the products supplied by parent and/or group companies; and (viii) represent a parent foreign airline and/or shipping company. Foreign entity may establish POs in India, once it has secured a contract from an Indian company to execute a project in India and carry out activities in furtherance of execution of such contract.

 

 

FDI in India

As per the data released by DIPP, the amount of FDI equity inflows from April 2018 to June 2018 have been to the tune of USD 12,752 million with an annual growth of 23% for the same period in 2017.  India still continues to receive the highest inflow of FDI from Mauritius followed by Singapore.

 

Protocol with Mauritius

The Ministry of Finance by its notification dated August 10, 2016 notified the protocol for amendment of the Convention for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and capital gains between India and Mauritius. Pursuant to the protocol, (i) India now has the taxation rights on capital gains arising from the alienation of shares acquired on or after April 1, 2017 in a company resident in India with effect from financial year 2017-18; (ii) protection to investment has been granted in relation to the shares acquired before April 1, 2017 i.e. gains from the transfer of shares acquired before April 1, 2017 will not be taxable in India even if the shares are transferred on or after March 31, 2017; (iii) the rate of taxation on the capital gains arising between the transition period of April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2019 is 50% of the domestic tax rate; and (iv) the reduced rate is subject to limitation of benefit (LOB) article. A resident of Mauritius, including a shell and/or conduit company, is not entitled to the benefit of 50% reduced rate of tax, if such resident fails the main purpose test or bona-fide business test.

 

Sectors attracting FDI

As per the data released by DIPP, post liberalization of the FDI policy, from the year 2000 till June 2018, the services sector, i.e. Financial, Banking, Insurance, Non-Financial and/or Business, Outsourcing, R&D, Courier, Tech. Testing Analysis services has received the highest FDI equity inflow of USD 68,617 Million.  Computer software and hardware, telecommunications and construction and development are some of the sectors attracting large amounts of FDI inflows.

 

Prohibited Sectors

FDI is prohibited in the following sectors and/or activities:

  1. Lottery Business including Government and/or private lottery, online lotteries, etc.;
  2. Gambling and Betting including casinos etc.;
  3. Chit funds;
  4. Nidhi company;
  5. Trading in Transferable Development Rights;
  6. Real Estate Business7 or Construction of Farm Houses;
  7. Manufacturing of cigars, cheroots, cigarillos and cigarettes, of tobacco or of tobacco substitutes; and
  8. Activities and/or sectors not open to private sector investment e.g. Atomic Energy and Railway operations (other than railway infrastructure8).

 

Further, foreign technology collaboration in any form including through licensing for franchise, trademark, brand name, management contract is also prohibited for the lottery business and for gambling and betting activities.

 

 

Liberalisation of the FDI Policy

India has consistently taken steps to liberalise the FDI policy in order to attract more foreign capital in India. Over the years, most sectors have been brought under the automatic route, where FDI is permitted without the Government approval. However, there are certain sectors of strategic importance which are yet to be liberalised, and for which, till recently, approval was required to be obtained from Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). On June 5, 2017, the Government of India abolished the FIPB and work of granting approval for FDI has been entrusted to the concerned administrative ministries and/or departments. The standard operating procedure for processing FDI proposals can be found at http://www.fifp.gov.in/Forms/SOP.pdf

As a step in that direction, pursuant to Press Note 1 of 2018, DIPP has liberalised FDI in single brand retail trade permitting FDI of up to 100%, with investment beyond 49% requiring Government approval. The liberalisation is aimed at attracting investments in production and marketing, improving the availability of such goods for the consumer, encouraging increased sourcing of goods from India, and enhancing competitiveness of Indian enterprises through access to global designs, technologies and management practices.


On October 25, 2016, the Government of India liberalised the FDI policy on Other Financial Services and Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs). Prior to liberalisation, FDI in NBFCs engaged in permitted eighteen (18) activities was allowed under the automatic route. After liberalisation, 100% FDI under automatic route in Other Financial Services activities regulated by financial sector regulators, viz., RBI, SEBI, IRDA, PFRDA, NHB or any other financial sector regulator as may be notified by the Government of India is permitted. Further the minimum capitalisation requirement as per the earlier policy is done away with and the FDI in 'Other Financial Services' activities is made subject to conditionality’s, including minimum capitalisation norms, as specified by the concerned Regulator and/or Government Agency.

 

 

Capital Investments in India

Subject to the sectoral guidelines prescribed in the FDI policy, a foreign investor can invest in an Indian company by subscribing to or purchasing capital instruments, i.e. equity shares, compulsorily convertible debentures, compulsorily convertible preference shares and share warrants. However, the price at which such capital instruments can be subscribed to or purchased from a resident seller cannot be lower than (a) the price worked out in accordance with the SEBI guidelines, as applicable, where the shares of the company are listed on any recognised stock exchange in India or (b) the fair valuation of shares done by a SEBI registered Merchant Banker or a Chartered Accountant as per any internationally accepted pricing methodology on arm’s length basis in case of unlisted companies (such price being the FairMarket Value).  An Indian company can issue partly paid-up capital instruments to a foreign investor, provided such capital instrument is made fully paid-up within 12 months. When any amounts are due from an Indian company to a foreign entity, and the remittance of such amounts is permitted as per the RBI regulations, the Indian company can issue equity shares in lieu of such amounts due in accordance with other guidelines issued by RBI.  

The capital instruments are freely transferable, unless the FDI is under the Government approval route, however, the price at which such capital instruments are transferred to a resident buyer cannot be higher than the Fair Market Value.

Alternatively, an Indian company can receive debt from foreign sources in accordance with the guidelines issued by RBI in relation to External Commercial Borrowings (ECB). ECB can be availed either under the automatic route or under the approval route. Under the automatic route, the Government has permitted some eligibility norms with respect to industry, amounts, end-use etc. If the Indian company complies with the prescribed norms, it can avail ECB without any prior approval. For certain specified sectors, a borrowing by way of ECB is subject to approval of the Government.

 

 

Foreign Portfolio Investment

Other than FDI, portfolio investment is the other popular route for foreign investors looking to invest in India. In 2014, SEBI notified the Securities Exchange Board of India (Foreign Portfolio Investors) Regulations, 2014 (FPI Regulations) which harmonized the investment by Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs), sub accounts and Qualified Foreign Investors (QFIs) into a single category, referred to as ‘Foreign Portfolio Investors’ (FPI).

Permitted Investments by FPI

As per the FPI Regulations, an FPI can only invest in the following securities, namely:

  1. Shares, debentures and warrants of companies, listed or to be listed on a recognized stock exchange in India through primary and secondary markets;
  2. Units of schemes floated by domestic mutual funds, whether listed on a recognized stock exchange or not;
  3. Units of schemes floated by a collective investment scheme;
  4. Derivatives traded on a recognized stock exchange;
  5. Treasury bills and dated government securities;
  6. Commercial papers issued by an Indian company;
  7. Rupee denominated credit enhanced bonds;
  8. Security receipts issued by asset reconstruction companies;
  9. Perpetual debt instruments and debt capital instruments, as specified by the Reserve Bank of India from time to time;
  10. Listed and unlisted non-convertible debentures and/or bonds issued by an Indian company in the infrastructure sector, where infrastructure’ is defined in terms of the extant external commercial borrowings (ECB) guidelines;
  11. Non-convertible debentures or bonds issued by Non-Banking Financial Companies categorized as “Infrastructure Finance Companies” (IFCs) by the Reserve Bank of India;
  12. Indian Rupee denominated bonds or units issued by infrastructure debt funds;
  13. Indian depository receipts;
  14. Such other instruments specified by the Board from time to time.

 

Restrictions on holding by FPI

An FPI can purchase or sell capital instruments10 of an Indian company on a recognised stock exchange in India subject to:

  1. The total holding by each FPI or an investor group being less than 10 % of the total paid-up equity capital on a fully diluted basis or less than 10% of  the  paid-up  value  of  each series of debentures or preference shares or share warrants issued by an Indian company and the total holdings of all FPIs put together shall not exceed 24  %  of  paid-up  equity capital on a fully diluted basis or paid up value of each series of debentures or preference shares or share warrants.
  2. The said limit of 10 % and 24 % is called the individual and aggregate limit, respectively. The aggregate limit of 24% can be increased by the Indian company up to the sectoral cap/statutory ceiling as prescribed in the FDI policy issued from time to time, with the approval of its board of directors and its general body through a resolution and a special resolution, respectively.
  3. In case the total holding of an  FPI increases to 10% or more of the total paid-up equity  capital on a fully diluted basis or 10% or more of the paid-up value of each series of debentures or preference shares or share warrants issued by an Indian company, the total investment made by the FPI shall be re-classified as FDI subject to the conditions  as  specified by SEBI and RBI in this regard and the reporting requirements as prescribed in exchange control regulations being complied with.

Enforcing Contracts

Enforcement of contracts is one of the key parameters based on which World Bank’s ranking on ease of doing business is determined. The enforcing contracts indicator measures the time and cost for resolving a commercial dispute through a local first-instance court (competent court), and the quality of judicial processes index, evaluating whether the country has adopted a series of good practices that promote quality and efficiency in the court system. India has taken a number of steps in the right direction in this sphere. The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 which deals with the alternate dispute mechanism system in India was amended from October 23, 2015 (the Arbitration Amendment Act). The Arbitration Amendment Act has substantial changes to reduce the timelines within which a dispute is adjudicated. As per the Arbitration Amendment Act, the arbitral tribunal has been vested with the power to impose heavy costs for adjournments without sufficient cause. Every arbitral award is to be made within 12 months from the date the arbitrator receives a written notice of appointment. The parties may mutually decide to extend the time limit by not more than six (6) months. If the award is not made within 18 months, the mandate of the arbitrator(s) will terminate unless the court extends the period upon an application filed by any of the parties. Additionally, the courts have been proactive in giving effect to the contractual rights agreed between the parties.

Pursuant to an amendment to the specific relief act, the specific performance of a contract is now required to be mandatorily granted by the court as a rule rather than at its discretion, except in certain identified situations.

Resolving Insolvency

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) notified on May 28, 2016, consolidates the fragmented legal framework under Indian law in relation to the re-organisation and insolvency resolution of corporate persons, partnership firms and individuals. It provides a time bound framework for the maximisation of value of assets of corporate debtors, promotes entrepreneurship, availability of credit, and balances the interests of all the stakeholders in reorganization and/or insolvency resolution proceedings in India. It applies to the insolvency, liquidation, voluntary liquidation or bankruptcy of companies, limited liability partnerships, body corporates, partnership firms, and individuals. Under the IBC, if a corporate debtor committing a default of INR 100,000 (Indian Rupees One Hundred Thousand only) or more, a financial creditor, an operational creditor or the corporate debtor can initiate corporate insolvency resolution under the IBC.

 

Corporate Governance

Corporate Governance plays an important role in maintaining transparency, encourages accountability of the management to the stakeholders, and leads to prompt, accurate and appropriate disclosure of information. Corporate Governance plays a larger role in listed companies, where large public shareholders are not involved in day to day management of the listed company. With the aim of improving standards of Corporate Governance of listed companies in India, a committee headed by Mr. Uday Kotak was requested to make recommendations to SEBI on issues related to: (a) ensuring independence in spirit of Independent Directors and their active participation in functioning of the company; (b) improving safeguards and disclosures pertaining to Related Party Transactions; (c) issues in accounting and auditing practices by listed companies; (d) improving effectiveness of Board Evaluation practices; (e) addressing issues faced by investors on voting and participation in general meetings; (f) disclosure and transparency related issues. The Committee released its report on October 5, 2017.

In SEBI’s board meeting held on March 27, 2018, after much deliberation the board accepted several of the recommendations of the Kotak Committee such as enhanced disclosure requirements on utilization of funds from qualified institutional placement /preferential issues, disclosures pertaining to auditor credentials, audit fee, reasons for resignation of auditors. Further, measures to strengthen the institution of the board of directors by augmenting the strength of the board and diversity, capping the maximum number of directorships etc. was accepted. Another key recommendation accepted by the board was down streaming of corporate governance by enhancing obligations on listed companies with respect to their subsidiaries such as secretarial audit being made necessary for the listed entities and their material unlisted subsidiaries, the board of all listed entities shall have to be informed of all the significant transactions involving all unlisted subsidiaries. The most crucial of the recommendations incorporated has been in relation to the participation and involvement in the affairs of the Company by the shareholders such as requiring shareholders’ approval being majority of minority for royalty/brand payments to a related party exceeding 2% of consolidated turnover instead of the proposed 5% .

 

Human Resources

According to a Bloomberg News analysis of United Nations population-projection data, India’s millennial generation is bigger than China’s or the U.S., which will boost the nation’s labour force to the world’s largest by 2027.11 A large amount of FDI is attracted by labour intensive export-oriented units. Therefore, it becomes imperative for foreign investors to be well acquainted with the labour laws in India. Labour laws in India are administered by both the Central Government and the various State governments. The existing labour laws in India govern not just the factory workers but all employees who are employed in organized sector. Social security, employee safety, industrial disputes, and welfare of labourers fall in the concurrent list of the subjects Constitution of India, and therefore both the Central Government and state Governments are empowered to enact, administer and enforce labour laws and implement labour welfare reforms. All employers having more than 20 employees are required to make social security contribution, i.e. provident fund contribution for all employees earning up to INR 15, 000/- per month to the provident fund board and provide insurance by making contribution to state insurance board for all industrial workers earning salary upto INR 21,000/- per month.

The Government has also introduced a number of labour law reforms. In 2017, the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 was amended to extend the duration of maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. Further, with a view to improve the ease of doing business in India, the labour ministry has also launched common registration service on the e-biz Portal for registrations under Employees Provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, Employees State Insurance Act, 1948, Building & Other Construction Workers (Regulations of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996, Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 and Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulations of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979.

 

 

Data Protection

Presently India does not have a comprehensive data protection mechanism, the main enactment that deals with protection of data is the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the rules framed thereunder. Other than the above, the respective sectoral regulators prescribe the data privacy measures required to be undertaken by the relevant sectors.

However, the recently the Personal Data Protection Bill. 2018 has been formulated by the Srikrishna Committee with a view to create a collective culture that fosters a free and fair digital economy, respecting the informational privacy of individuals, and ensuring empowerment, progress and innovation. The Srikrishna Committee was headed by retired Supreme Court judge BN Srikrishna which submitted its initial assessment and recommendations on data privacy and management, pursuant to which the Personal Data Protection Bill. 2018 was introduced. Currently, the two cases pending before the Supreme Court of India likely to have an impact on the way the data protection legislature shapes up are (a) the challenge to the Aadhaar Act, and (b) the case filed by Karmanya Singh Sareen challenging the change in privacy policy of WhatsApp Inc..

While it remains to be seen if the Data Protection Bill, 2018 finds its way to the upcoming monsoon session of the Indian Parliament for further discussion, the report’s recommendations suggest far-reaching ramifications for India's rapidly growing technology industry.

 

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https://indianexpress.com/article/business/economy/india-becomes-sixth-largest-economy-in-the-world-overtakes-france-5256279/

https://www.livemint.com/Politics/9fx4v1xGMkvCk05WLP78GO/IMF-sees-India-GDP-growth-at-74-in-2018-Chinas-at-68.html

https://www.livemint.com/Opinion/gDTnRkzbR9ao1fRdYMGEdM/India-improves-its-ease-of-doing-business-but-much-work-lef.html

https://www.livemint.com/Politics/GwXhAdltCo1TCbRTAm5z0H/India-up-23-places-in-ease-of-doing-business-rankings.html

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=175501

http://dipp.nic.in/sites/default/files/FDI_FactSheet_29June2018.pdf

Clarifications on the standard operating procedures can be found at http://fifp.gov.in/Forms/SOP_Clarification.pdf

http://dipp.nic.in/sites/default/files/pn1_2018.pdf

https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/economy/sebi-accepts-kotak-committee-recommendations-getting-closer-to-global-best-practices-2542795.html

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  • Protection of Biotechnology under Indian Laws

    According to the eighth annual survey conducted by the Association of Biotechnology-Led Enterprises (ABLE) and Bio Spectrum, the Indian biotech industry grew threefold in just five years to report revenues of US$ 3 billion in 2009-10, a rise of 17 per cent over the previous year. Maintaining the momentum of the previous years, the Indian biotech industry grew 16.28 per cent in FY2014; the total industry size was US$ 5 billion at the end of the financial year and it reached US$ 7 billion in FY2015. Fast-paced growth is likely to continue; the industry is expected to increase in size to USD11.6 billion by 2017, driven by a range   of factors such as growing demand, intensive R & D activities and strong government initiatives ( http://www.ibef.org/industry/biotechnology-india.aspx )