The recently concluded Navaratri festival was one of healthy and sustainable food for me. The first day started with one of my good friends dropping in, to handover a few saplings of a rare variety of delicious jack fruit from his farm. He said so many saplings have sprung up from the trees on his land that he felt it his responsibility to distribute them to people who care to nurture them. I gladly accepted and made sure I re-distributed to 3 others who had the required place to grow them (jack fruit roots go deep and impact the building foundation, so a large farm or a big garden is ideal). I almost felt they were like children that needed to be housed under proper care and love. In return I shared with my friend a few papayas, coconuts and beetle-leaves grown at home. Over the next few days, we received tasty home grown chikoos/sapotas and home-made coconut oil from another friend in Mysore while we all sat down to a healthy, home-cooked meal for the festival. With yet another healthy-food-conscious friend we shared home grown pumpkin and papayas. I tell you the joy of receiving and giving homegrown produce is so different and precious as compared to carrying some sweets, namkeens & chocolates. Well, it matters to people who appreciate and care for simple things in life.
Having moved to healthy-living as a choice over the last few years, I got into a conversation with Anand in Mysore who shifted careers from a software engineer to a farm producer. He grows coconut trees and extracts wooden-pressed oils, cold pressed oils (in his traditional chakki) and trades in unpolished rice, unprocessed salt, organic jaggery etc. While I picked up quite a few stuff for self and a few friends, he shared so many interesting things about what is organic, what is natural, what is chemical-free, why people are made to believe that a higher price tag means a better quality (while it need not be so), how a 200 rupee oil is sold in a fancy store in a city at 800 rupees, how the supply chain works etc. He passionately spoke about coconut in its tender form, fruit form and dried form and how oil extracted at different stages (with and without roasting) impacts the nutrient value and the price. Just like so many other sustainability-champions he emphasised on allowing natural growth, curing & ripening time and extracting without short-changing the process. Anand shared a lot and I realised he is a fountain-head of traditional knowledge with genuine concern for Mother Earth and Sustainable Future.
This reminds me about 20th October which is celebrated as International Chef’s Day. Coincidentally the theme for 2020 is “Healthy & Sustainable Food for the Future”. It was interesting to watch a panel discussion on this theme hosted by the Institute of Hotel Management, Bangalore (incidentally my son was the student-moderator) that had India’s top corporate chefs and entrepreneurs sharing their thoughts, experiences and trends in healthy food and what chefs are doing about this. The insightful takeaways were – Healthy food is no more a buzzword, it is REAL. Hotels are offering responsible luxury and India Proud Food. Customers are dictating what they want. Chefs must be able to ‘create a story on the plate’ while being conscious of the Food miles, Fuel burn, Produce origin, Fair pricing for the farmers, Honest farming etc. One of them said we must be aware of what’s going into our body if we want to know what we are going to be in future. They talked about how chefs are rooting for local produce rather than imported ones which was the norm years ago, how the breakfast menu has shifted from processed cereals, bacon and sausages to fruits, veggie blends and freshly made local Indian cuisines. There was a piece of good advice – get children to read food labels and figure out the ingredients, their nutritional value, shelf life etc. before they make a choice to reach out to processed foods. Another well-known chef declared ‘Poori bhaji with (mota atta) whole wheat flour is any day healthier than egg white omelette and brown bread !’ The unanimous vote was for locally produced ingredients, with shorter shelf life (which meant fresh), artisanal food (no additives, preservatives, artificial colours), ethical food (with no hormones), understanding the farmer, eliminating middle-men and celebrating Indian Food. The message was loud and clear – For health & sustainable food go BACK TO THE ROOTS. WINDS OF CHANGE are surely blowing that way. Thankfully !
Well, I cannot say in terms of regulatory changes, we are moving towards a rooted, grounded, sustainable framework. It is still fluid. Still changing. Sometimes radical. Sometimes logical. Sometimes responsive. Sometimes pre-emptive. Sometimes triggering. Most times reactive and catching up. Keeping professionals as well as corporates and citizens on tenterhooks as we wait for the ‘blessed extension notifications’ to arrive on the last date. It beats me to fathom why some of the deadline extensions / relaxations cannot be announced in advance so that businesses can better plan their operations, cash flows, work flow etc. This is not today’s story. It has been so since years. I still remember my days in the corporate when I was heading a project to ensure smooth VAT implementation all across the company in 2004. We had formed a team months in advance, drawn up processes including software changes required (it was state level VAT back then), recast systems, created awareness amongst finance, purchase, sales, manufacturing departments, vendors, customers, agents etc. without being sure if VAT would be notified or not. Keeping fingers crossed about how accounting and tax software would respond if VAT would be implemented. This was not my experience alone but almost all the businesses’ across the country that waited for the GO / NO-GO action from the Government. When no notification was announced till late evening of 31st March, 2004, we knew we had to live with the old Sales Tax regime for the next financial year as well. The whole drama started all over again in FY2004-05 until VAT became effective from 1st April, 2005. In many ways this attitude of keeping us guessing until the nth moment still continues. There may be several reasons that we don’t understand but clarity in law and planned changes announced with sufficient time on hand is a reasonable expectation for doing business I guess.
In this 247th issue of Samhita, the pride of place is for the Taxation Amendment Act, 2020 which has effected several key changes. Right on top is the article by our associate R Krishnamurthy, Chartered Accountant who has tried his best to tabulate the provisions in an understandable manner – atleast for the professionals 😊 Do give it a read as also certain other changes from MCA, SEBI, GST, DGFT. Balaji, our English language resource has contributed an interesting ‘couple-conversation’ that offers synonyms for the word ‘rarely’. For any previous issues of Samhita and thereaders’ feedback, please visit https://sharadasc.com/resource-center/.
Hubby: How come you *hardly ever* get angry?
Wife: I learnt it from you. Though we give a lot of reasons for you to be annoyed, you *seldom* get angry.
Hubby: Oh. Really. I *infrequently* realize that.
Wife: You *occasionally* think before you believe what I say.
Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Act, 2020
Our Associate R. Krishnamurthy, Chartered Accountant, has compiled the various changes effected by the Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Act, 2020, which has been notified w.e.f. 20.09.2020. The changes relate to extension of due dates for payment taxes, filing of ITRs, TDS, TCS returns, filing of Audit Reports, new provisions relating Faceless Assessment etc.
We hope the tabulated changes will serve as a good ready reckoner until March 2021, unless of course there are further changes announced by the Government!
Vide Notification dated 15.10.2020, CBIC has notified the CGST (Twelfth Amendment) Rules, 2020. Changes brought about by the Rules are as follows:
A registered person who opted to pay tax under composition scheme can now file NIL GST CMP 08 through SMS (Earlier this facility was only available to the registered persons who are required to file NIL GSTR 1 & GSTR 3B)
A registered person having aggregate turnover of more than Rs 2 Crore but less than Rs 5 Crores is required to file GSTR 9 but is not required to file GSTR 9C. Therefore, filing of reconciliation statement in GSTR-9C for financial year 2019-20 has been relaxed for taxpayers having aggregate turnover of upto Rs. 5 crores.
Restriction on generation of e-way bill due to non-filing of returns will not be applicable during the period 20.03.2020 till 15.10.2020 if GSTR-3B or GSTR-1 or GST CMP-08 has not been furnished for the months February 2020 to August 2020
Vide notification dated 15.10.2020, CBIC has notified that it is mandatory for a registered person to mention the HSN Code for the all products sold. The HSN Digits to be mentioned are as under w.e.f. 01.04.2021:
Turnover up to Rs. 5 Crores- 4 digit HSN code to be mentioned
Turnover more than Rs. 5 Crores- 6 digit HSN code to be mentioned
The only exemption given to registered persons having turnover of less than 5 Crores is that they need not mention the HSN code in the Tax Invoice in respect of supplies made to unregistered persons.
On 16.10.2020, MCA notified that it is sufficient if companies pass a special resolution once in a year for all offers / invitations to securities to Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIBs) for multiple allotments made to them during the year. This helps companies raise funds on short notice.
Creation of Recovery Expense Fund by issuers of debt securities
On 22.10.2020, SEBI notified that w.e.f. 01.01.2021, every issuer proposing to list debt securities is required to create a Recovery Expense Fund (REF) with the Designated Stock Exchange. The same shall be used by the Debenture Trustee in case of any default by the issuer, in the manner decided in the meeting of the holders of debt securities.
The issuer is required to deposit an amount equal to 0.01% of the issue size, upto a maximum of Rs. 25 Lakhs per issuer towards REF and the Designated Stock Exchanges shall invest such amounts in the manner specified in the Circular. The interest earned on such amount invested is to be added to the REF.
The procedure for creating the fund, claim and utilization by the Debenture Trustee and refund to the issuer of the debt securities is detailed in the Circular.
Vide Circular dated 13.10.2020, SEBI had laid down the procedure for handling SCORES complaints, and SOP for non-redressal of complaints by listed entities. Vide Circular dated 22.10.2020, changes have been made to replace the words “promoters and promoter group” and “promoter/promoter group” used in the Circular dated 13.10.2020 with the word “promoters”. Earlier, in case of non-redressal of complaints, the shares of the promoters and promoters group would be frozen. However it is now restricted to promoters only.
Due date for submission of documents for fulfilment of EO – Extended
Due to the impact of COVID-19, the Handbook of Procedures 2015-20 on Monitoring of Export Obligations (EO) has been amended to allow submission of documents for EO fulfilment upto 31.12.2020 for all Advance Authorisations for EO period expiring/expired between 01.02.2020 and 31.10.2020.
Note: The contents of this Newsletter are only a summary and has not dealt with any issue in detail. Any action taken or proposed to be taken must be in consultation with professionals and not merely based on the articles / news updates. S. C. Sharada & Associates disclaims all liability on action taken without professional advice.
S. C. Sharada & Associates,
Company Secretaries. #405, 7th Cross, IV Block, Koramangala, Bangalore – 560 034.
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