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Enhancing Capabilities, Empowering Lives - CSR in Skills and Livelihood: What are India’s top companies up to?
Claudius Gutemann, Enhancing Capabilities, Empowering Lives - CSR in Skills and Livelihood: What are India’s top companies up to? 02 Feb 2017
Review of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy on various sectors
Deborah Keller, Review of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy on various sectors 25 Jul 2016
Other

Enhancing Capabilities, Empowering Lives - CSR in Skills and Livelihood: What are India’s top companies up to?

Enhancing Capabilities, Empowering Lives - CSR in Skills and Livelihood: What are India’s top companies up to?

Samhita Social Ventures, in partnership with Ambuja Cement Foundation, DHFL (Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited), Godrej and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) releases a report which maps the CSR trends in Skill development and Livelihoods of the 100 Indian companies with the largest CSR budgets on the BSE 500. The report aims to highlight major trends, identify gaps and opportunities in the skills and livelihood value chain and provide a roadmap for companies and other stakeholders to overcome these challenges.

Download the report here.

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Other

Review of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy on various sectors

1. Relaxation of rules for application of higher withholding tax rate in the absence of a PAN

The Indian Income Tax Act provides for a payer to apply a higher withholding tax rate if the recipient of income does not furnish its Permanent Account Number (PAN). This was also applicable where payments were effected to non-residents and the latter had to obtain a PAN to that effect.

However, the Indian tax authorities have recently issued a notification whereby the requirement for non-residents to have a PAN has been made less stringent. Pursuant to the notification, the higher withholding tax rate would not apply to a non-resident for the following payments, even though it does not have a PAN:

(i) Interest;
(ii) Royalty;
(iii) Fees for technical services; and
(iv) Payments on transfer of any capital assets.

Nonetheless, the non-residents which would be receiving the income should furnish the following details:

• name, email, contact number;
• address in country of residence;
• Tax Residency Certificate (TRC); and
• Tax Identification Number (TIN) in country of residence.

Most of the above details are already being provided by non-resident recipients of income by way of a TRC and/or Form 10F which are prerequisites in India to avail of benefits under a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA). The new amendment will, therefore, reduce the administrative and compliance burden for non-residents which are receiving income from India.

2. Amendment to the retrospective applicability of the General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR)

The Income tax department in India has, via a notification issued on 22 June 2016, provided clarifications on the retrospective applicability of the General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR) as follows:

(i) GAAR will not apply to income derived by a person from transfer of investments made before 1 April 2017. The earlier version of the GAAR provided for this date to be 30 August 2010.
(ii) GAAR will apply to any arrangement irrespective of the date it has been entered into if a tax benefit is obtained on or after 1 April 2017. Previously, this date was 1 April 2015. 2
 
3. Liberalisation of foreign direct investment policy in India

Further to a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 20 June 2016, the Government of India has taken steps to further liberalise the foreign direct investment (FDI) regime and on 24 June 2016, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) issued Press Note 5 of 2016 Series (Press Note). Now, most sectors would fall under the automatic approval route, except for a small negative list. As per the Press Note, changes introduced in the policy include increasing sectorial caps, bringing more activities under the automatic route and easing of conditionality for foreign investment.

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Health Services and Supplies

Frugal Innovation

Frugal innovation is considered by many to be one of the key solutions that enables enterprises to access low-income markets in developing countries. However, the discourse on frugal innovation has painted a singularly product-centric picture of innovation by overemphasising the products’ value propositions, designs and underpinning technologies. This position paper aims to dispel the myth that frugal innovation for low-income markets is solely rooted in the configuration of a product and its components. Rather, frugal innovation is said to involve the implementation of novel ideas across the whole architecture of a business model. Read more »
Other

CSR and the Companies Act, 2013: Be Bold, Take Action

The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) rules in the Companies Act, 2013 will forever change the way CSR is conducted in India and throughout the world. Beginning April of 2014, large and medium-sized Indian companies will be required to spend 2% of their profits on charitable causes. This represents both a challenge to be managed and an opportunity to be embraced by the more than 16,000 registered companies that will be affected by the law. In passing this law, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs recognizes that corporates not only have the resources but also capacies and skills that enable them to spearhead social change in ways that are beyond the reach of both governmental and social sector organizaons. Instead of increasing corporate taxes by 2%, the government decided to leverage the exisng track record of India Inc. to catalyze tried and tested approaches bringing new strategies, ideas, and capital needed to tackle the country’s most challenging social and environmental problems. From the 1,600 children under the age of 5 who die daily (due to diseases related to poor sanitaon) to the appalling stasc that Indians have greater access to mobile phones than to toilets, targeted and sustainable CSR approaches are required. This is an enormous responsibility and leap of faith. Diverng vast resources away from corporaons and into social projects can lead to ineffecve investments or “dead aid”. Alternavely, the esmated INR 20,000 cr in CSR spending can also lead to progress and prosperity that the country has never seen before. This may be the missing link enabling over 800 million people to access quality educaon, healthcare and livelihood opportunies necessary for inclusive growth. Read more »
Agriculture Products

2015 Global Food & Agriculture Investment Outlook: Institutional investors meet farmers

Strategic review of the investment landscape across the asset class, with an up-to-date analysis of the major asset categories and a special section on South America’s challenges & opportunities. Read more »
Other

Skills Development by Green and Inclusive SMEs in India: Entrepreneurs’ Approaches

This paper examines the approaches of entrepreneurs in developing the skills necessary for themselves and their employees to achieve green innovation. Read more »
Other

India's Nonperforming Assets: A Lurking Crisis

by Rasika Gynedi Read more »
Other

IRIS getting started guide

IRIS is a free, online catalog for selecting performance metrics. Read more »
Agriculture Products

The relevance of content in ICT initiatives in Indian agriculture

by Claire J.Glendenning and Pier Paolo Ficarelli, Read more »
Other

Innovation or imitation? Does it matter?

It matters how philanthropy in Asia will develop in the coming decade. Despite economic progress having lifted millions out of poverty in the last 20 years, half of Asia’s 1.63 billion people live on incomes of less than $2 a day. Personal wealth is being created in Asia Pacific at unprecedented levels – the number of high net worth individuals grew by 1.6 per cent in 2011 to 3.37 million, overtaking the number of wealthy in either North America or Europe – but wealth alone is no guarantee that the region’s philanthropy is risk-taking and transformative. Read more »