RBI extends e-payment facility for imports
RBI's new circular allows authorised dealer category-l banks to offer payment facility for e-commerce players for imports by entering into standing arrangements with the online payment gateway service providers
E-commerce world has taken conventional business by a sweep and has become the new age way of doing business. Online aggregation business has re-defined the service segment from bookmybai to departmental store aggregation to online home services aggregator such as Housejoy
The ease of carrying out business through these platforms has facilitated the growth of e-commerce transactions at both the national and international level. In order to exercise regulatory control over such transactions, specifically to the cross border transactions, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) vide its circular dated 16 November 16 2010 on “Processing and Settlement of Export related receipts facilitated by Online Payment Gateways” issued a set of guidelines to cover such e-commerce arrangements. Under these guidelines, the Authorised Dealer Category- l (AD Category-l) banks were permitted to offer the facility to repatriate export related remittances only by entering into standing arrangements with online payment gateway service providers (OPGSPs) in respect of export of goods and services
However, in order to expand the ambit of e-commerce transactions, RBI has recently come up with the circular dated 24 September 2015 on “Processing and settlement of import and export related payments facilitated by Online Payment Gateway Service Providers” wherein “it has been decided to permit AD Category-l banks to offer similar facility of payment for imports by entering into standing arrangements with the OPGSPs”.
This article at length discusses the new set of consolidated guidelines applicable to both the export and import transactions routed standing arrangement between AD Category-l and OPGSPs.


The AD Category-I banks entering into standing arrangements are firstly required to report the details of each such arrangement as and when entered into to the Foreign Exchange Department, Central Office, Reserve Bank of India, Mumbai. In order to operationalise such arrangement/arrangement(s) AD Category-I banks shall ensure the following:
carry out the due diligence of the OPGSP;
maintain separate Export and Import Collection accounts in India for each OPGSP;
satisfy themselves as to the bonafides of the transactions and ensure that the related purpose codes reported to the Reserve Bank are appropriate;
submit all the relevant information relating to any transaction under such arrangements to the Reserve Bank, as and when advised to do so; and
conduct the reconciliation and audit of the collection accounts on a quarterly basis.

Mandates for operating as OPGSP

Foreign entities:
Before entering into an arrangement with the AD Category-I banks, foreign entities would be required to open liaison office in India with the prior approval of the RBI. In this regard, it will have to adhere with the following:
ensure adherence to the Information Technology Act, 2000 and all other relevant laws / regulations in force;
put in place a mechanism for resolution of disputes and redressal of complaints;
create a Reserve Fund appropriate to its return and refund policy and
onboard sellers, Indian as well as foreign, following appropriate due diligence procedure.
Also, resolution of all payment related complaints in India shall remain the responsibility of the OPGSP concerned.
Domestic entities:
Indian entities functioning as intermediaries for electronic payment transactions intending to undertake cross border transactions are required to maintain separate accounts for domestic and cross border transactions. 

Guidelines for import and export transactions

The following table enumerates the salient features of the export and import transactions undertaken through standing arrangement between the AD Category-I banks and OPGSP:
(Shruti Agarwal works as Research Associate at Vinod Kothari & Co)


CIC penalises CBSE for denying information under RTI
In an important decision, the CIC has asked CBSE to pay a penalty of Rs25,000 for harassment to a parent by denying information and also for taking undertakings from students who file RTI for answer sheets, which amounts to obstructing information
In a noteworthy and heartening decision, Central Information Commissioner Prof M Sridhar Acharyulu, has provided relief to thousands of students who are harassed by  authorities at the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) which asks students to sign an illegal undertaking, if they file Right to Information (RTI) application seeking copies of answer sheets. The terms and condition of the undertaking is such that it amounts to denial of information. The CIC order has hit upon three points, which should put the CBSE in place and give students their rightful information, that is, copies of answer sheets. In the 3 December 2015 decision, Prof Sridhar has stated:
  1. That the CIC “considers that the appellant who is the father of the candidate is entitled for the copies of the answer sheets of his son, which shall be supplied to him within 15 days from the date of receipt of this order, free of cost.”
  2. CBSE to pay a compensation of Rs25,000 to the child’s father for “the hardship he was made to face and undergo harassment in obtaining the information from the public Authority.”
  3. CBSE has been taking illegal undertakings from students (who file RTI to seek copies of their answer sheets). He has ruled that the “Commission holds that the undertakings prescribed by the CBSE will be serious obstructions to the access to information. The Public Authority can only deny the information under Sections 8/9 of the RTI Act.” 
The CIC has also directed the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) of CBSE, “to show cause why penalty should not be imposed for not furnishing the information within the prescribed period.”
Vijay Kumar Mishra, lives in Samastipur and his son studies in a CBSE School. He filed an RTI application on CBSE seeking answer sheets of his son’s papers way back in 2013. However, the Public Information Officer (PIO) as well as the First Appellate Authority (FAA) denied him the information. Shockingly, the FAA stated denial of information was because the father, not the student had filed the RTI. His reply to the parent was: 
  1. Requests/applications for supply of answer sheets should be made only through online within 10 days from the date of declaration of the result. 
  2. After downloading the hardcopy of the printout of the request/confirmation page, from the website, the candidate should get the same reached to the CBSE office, before the specified date, along with the fee and other prescribed enclosures. 
  3. An undertaking from the candidate, written in his own handwriting and under his own signature and not by anyone else on his behalf should also be enclosed. The signature should correspond to that present on the Admit Card of the candidate. 
  4. The candidate cannot question the evaluation done by the examiner but only point out the errors in the totalling of marks, or the answers which were not evaluated by the examiner and communicate the same in writing to the CBSE within 10 days from the date of receipt of the evaluated answer sheets. 
  5. The copies of the answer sheets shall be provided to the candidates by blocking the information relating to the identity of the Examiner. 
  6. The candidate should also undertake that the copies of his answer sheets shall not be given to any institution or school for display, commercial purpose or to print media.
Finally, Mishra filed second appeal at the Central Information Commission (CIC) at Delhi, where the matter was heard and decided on 3 December 2015. The CIC has considered all the terms and conditions put by CBSE as “illegal” and “serious obstruction to access of information”.
Upholding the right of the father to file RTI for his son, Prof Sridhar also stated, “The CPIO and the CBSE should have the common sense and general knowledge that a 12th class student is generally a minor boy and his father is natural guardian. The natural guardian has a legal duty and authority to secure the rights and benefits of the minor boy. In that capacity he has every right to seek right to information of his son be implemented and any injustice occurring to his son in evaluation of his answer scripts which might affect his career forever. The CBSE did not explain in reasonable terms why it has denied the natural guardian from exercising his legal duty to secure the legal interests of his son including his right to information. Hence the reason cited to deny the ‘father’ is unreasonable and illegal and also in violation of rights of the minor boy. The CBSE has no authority to impose such restriction on the rights of minor and his guardian.”  
Lambasting the CBSE for imposing a condition to relinquish right to seek evaluation, the CIC said, “If a student has a legally recognized right to re­evaluation, why should he relinquish it simply because he wanted to exercise another legal right to information by seeking to have copy of the answer script? By imposing this condition the CBSE is not only restricting that right to information, but also insulating itself from being accountable. This condition that student should sign off his rights by an undertaking is a serious obstruction to right to information of minor boy and his guardian.”
This CIC decision has clearly empowered students of CBSE and their parents, so go ahead and invoke your right to access copies of your answer sheets under RTI and yes, do not sign the “illegal” undertakings.
(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, and also convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book "To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte" with Vinita Kamte and is the author of "The Mighty Fall".)



Praveen Sakhuja

10 months ago

Only ONE question to CIC - If CBSE does not pay penalty imposed, WHAT action CIC proposes to initiate? It will be appreciated if reply and action can be taken is published in leading news papers as other messages are printed will be appreciated and moralize the demoralized citizens.

Nifty, Sensex may recover ground – Thursday closing report
The market is deeply oversold and may be headed for a rally subject to dips
We had mentioned in Wednesday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex were getting to an oversold position and that Nifty is due for a short bounce which may not sustain. There was a relief rally in the Indian stock markets and the major indices improved by upto 0.93%. The trends of the major indices in the course of Thursday’s trading are given in the table below:
Bargain hunting and unravelling of short positions by investors propelled the Indian stock markets a little higher and the indices improved by a little less than 1%. Market observers said that short coverings of position by investors led the relief rally after six consecutive days of losses. It is expected that that markets positive trajectory might be short-lived due to the logjam in parliament and absence of fresh triggers.
The central government on Thursday clarified the income tax returns filed by foreign institutional investors (FII) and foreign portfolio investors (FPI) will be processed on certain conditions even if the balance sheet and profit/loss account are not filled. In a statement issued by the government, the union finance ministry said notices of defective returns were issued to FIIs and FPIs where balance sheet and profit and loss account were not filled, but such returns will not be treated as defective in cases where the FII and FPI is registered with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI); has no permanent establishment or place of business in India and has provided basis information needed under section 139 (9)(f) of the Income Tax Act if there is a business income. In all cases where the SEBI registration number is provided, the returns for assessment year 2015-16 are being taken up for processing. For previous assessment years where the above information is not available in the tax return, FII/FPI may provide such details in their online response on the e-filing portal of the Income Tax department ( to the previously issued notice under section 139(9).
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday said it would lend $1 billion to state-run Power Grid Corporation for expanding its transmission capacity in the country. "ADB is to provide a $500 million government-backed loan and a further $500 million in non-sovereign lending to India's national transmission company, Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd," ADB said in a statement. "The new transmission lines connecting renewable energy-rich areas to the national grid will enhance connectivity between the regions by bringing clean energy to more people, making the overall Indian power system more efficient, and improving India's overall energy security," Hun Kim, Director General of ADB's South Asia Department, was quoted as saying. The loans will fund building and upgrading high voltage transmission lines and substations in Rajasthan and Punjab, as part of government's Green Energy Corridor initiative. The power sector, as far as investors are concerned, is likely to get a further boost from this development.
New Zealand's central bank cut its official cash rate by 25 basis points to 2.5% on Thursday, citing concerns over growth at home and abroad. Globally, economic growth was below average and inflation was low, despite highly stimulatory monetary conditions, Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) governor Graeme Wheeler said. Financial markets remain concerned about weaker growth in emerging economies, particularly in China, while expecting tightening of policy in the United States, reported Xinhua. "Growth in the New Zealand economy has softened over 2015, due mainly to lower terms of trade. Combined with increases in the labour supply from strong net immigration, the slowdown has seen an increase in spare capacity and unemployment," said Wheeler.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday decided to create a buffer stock of pulses in the country. An official statement said the buffer stock would be created in the current year itself. The statement said the CCEA also decided to import pulses, if needed, through a public sector enterprise of the commerce ministry. "It approved procurement of about 50,000 tonnes of pulses from the 2015-16 kharif crop and one lakh tonne out of the arrivals of rabi crop for 2015-16," the statement said.  
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:


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