7th April 2021, Wednesday, mid-week, mid-day. In walked Ashok, my close relative. We were surprised to see him at that time since he was supposed to be at work. Of course, he was welcomed wholeheartedly because he always regaled us with his unique style of humorous narration. Be it his struggle in finding his first job, be it his sales trips abroad, be it his frustration at work, be it his bride-hunting escapades, be it his post-married life he always shared his experiences with animated gestures in a monodrama style, enacting all the characters himself. But mid-morning on a Wednesday, we least expected him. He said he just wanted to come away from home or office (he didn’t know which since it had been work, work and more work and nothing else since a year ago) to a different environment, to a normal world. The dark circles beneath his eyes, his growing paunch, his dishevelled hair, the forlorn look and his jerky movements presented to us a very different Ashok, fatigued and burnt out. He had lost almost everything about himself except his innate ability to look at the lighter moments in life. He still joked about his wakeful hours – at times working through the night until 4 am for a US client and again waking up at 8 am to take a call from some other geography, not knowing when to brush his teeth ?.
About his eating hours – grabbing food in between long calls, munching unhealthy snacks at midnight, dragging lunch over 3 hours and dried up hands due to back to back meetings without a break, not knowing whether he had extended lunch or early supper ?. He shared that many a times he wouldn’t be aware if he had eaten or not, or what he had eaten – pizza or paratha, rice or rotis, sabzi or salad – since he would be in marathon meetings or replying to endless emails. He remarked with his trademark guffaw “Here I am juggling with demanding clients and stressful multiple bosses and there is my better-half finding fault that I am not appreciating her new dress or failing to give my feedback on which colour curtain looks good ! How does it matter what she wears or if there is a curtain in the room or not. I just want to be done with my work and slump on the bed to catch up with sleep.”. Worse situation is when my body refuses to sleep before 2am and I am forced to watch some senseless stuff on the Television because there is no one to talk to. Ashok admitted that though his multiple-geography IT job was demanding earlier also, now in the Corona-induced WFH era, it has become unforgivingly killing. He has lost track of day and night, dusk and dawn, home and office, food and sleep, wife and dog and is wedded to his laptop, virtual calls, mobile and inhuman bosses who only want to please their bosses and show margins. When I suggested he must escalate his condition to his boss he said “To whom shall I point out ? He is also a forced workaholic Indian like me who is ready for meeting even at midnight and works through the weekend”.
While we enjoyed all his dialogue deliveries about his boss, wife, father, clients, colleagues etc., we could sense his anguish and helplessness. I am not exaggerating a bit because I have seen at close quarters other young professionals burning out early in their lives, thanks to inhuman business practices, unreasonable delivery promises to clients by overzealous and greedy business heads, unhealthy competition and a toxic ecosystem. One of my cousins has rationed her work and me-time on weekends by turning off the mobile on aeroplane mode. There are umpteen cases like this of overworked employees with demand from families also during the pandemic times. Shudder to think of the loss of human capital, damage to the health of a young work-force, dip in productivity, break-down of familial relationships and consequent shredding of the social fabric of a nation. The irony is that 7th April signifies World Health Day which focusses on mental health issues as well. What I heard from Ashok was reflective of the world wide debate triggered by the revolt of Goldman Sachs employees over work-life blur. It is an alarming reality that employers must take seriously and restore the work-life balance in their businesses with the strategy being driven from the top. Happy employees lead to happy customers. ROI from employees is bound to grow if there are saner working hours, adequate family / me time, regular meal-times etc. even in the pandemic induced WFH era. Messed up work-life is not new but what is new is the magnitude and our acceptance that this is the New Normal. Let’s together make this world a better and safer place to live in for a longer time !!
New Year | New Shoots | Old Roots | Fresh Beginning ||
This is what Ugadi, Gudi Padwa, Baisakhi, Navreh, Cheti Chand, Bihu is all about. New Year celebrated across India under different names over last 2 days. Signifying that Life is a sweet-sour-bitter mixture of events and experiences. All the flavours together make it worth Living & Celebrating !!
This is what the New look Samhita is all about. A potpourri of information, insights, quotes, images, dates, language tips and reflective thoughts brought to you in a new avatar, on a new platform, by our own team under a new external guidance. Starting this issue, compliance calendar is available as a google calendar as well to help you synchronise the dates with your calendar. Apart from catching up with the regulatory updates, do stop by briefly for Balaji’s conversational English lessons in this 258th issue of Samhita. Have something to say ? Use the Disqus option at the bottom of this newsletter to share your feedback. Sign in as guest and start expressing. For any previous issues of Samhita and the readers’ feedback, please visit https://sharadasc.com/resource-center/.
Have you ever heard representative of any company use the term, ‘your issue’ – Your issue is now resolved, We have resolved your issue.
‘Your issue’ could be a term that annoys any client because it’s not their issue the issue is with the product or service provided.
Always replace, ‘your issue’ with ‘the issue’
Example: We have resolved the issue/ The issue has been resolved.
In several cases, some people tend to confuse ‘Apologies’ and ‘Apologize’
We apologize for the inconvenience – we are saying sorry
Apologies for the inconvenience – We are saying sorry.
Apologize for the inconvenience – We are ordering the listener to say ‘sorry’ to us
To convey the we are very sorry about something, we can say
Accounting software capable of maintaining edit log – applicable from 01.04.2022
The Companies (Audit & Auditors) Amendment Rules, 2021 was notified by MCA which was scheduled to come into force on 01.04.2021. Please refer Samhita #257 for detailed summary. Briefly, the 2 notifications required the following:
From 01.04.2021, only accounting softwares capable of recording audit trail i.e. trail of every transaction and edit log, shall be used by Companies. The Auditor shall report if the same has been complied with and that the audit trail facility has not been disabled or tampered with during the year.
Additional information to be mentioned in the Audit Report.
However, there was no clarity if the requirements regarding reporting of maintenance of edit log and audit trail in the Audit Report were applicable to FY 2021-22. The same has been clarified by a notification no G.S.R. 248(E) dated 01.04.2021 that auditors are required to report if the software used by the company for maintaining their books of accounts provides for edit log and audit trail only from FY 2022-23 onwards.
Similarly, the Companies (Accounts) Amendment Rules, 2021 has been amended vide notification no G.S.R. 247(E) making the requirement of maintaining edit log and audit trail in the accounting softwares used by companies, mandatory only from 01.04.2022 onwards.
Introduction of Pre-packaged Insolvency Resolution Process
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 notified on 04.04.2021, introduced the much anticipated Pre-packaged Insolvency Resolution Process exclusively for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
The Pre-packaged Insolvency Resolution Process aims to provide an efficient alternative insolvency resolution framework for corporate persons classified as MSMEs under the Code, for ensuring quicker, cost-effective outcomes for all the stakeholders. The initiative is based on a trust model and the amendments honour the honest MSME owners by trying to ensure that the resolution takes place and the company remains with them. It is to be noted that this package is not available to proprietor owned MSMEs.
Highlights of the amendments made to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 through the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 are as follows:
Insertion of various definitions including “base resolution plan”, “pre-packaged insolvency date”, “pre-packaged insolvency resolution process period” etc.
The Code has been amended to give power to the Central Government to specify a different minimum amount of default for initiation of the pre-packaged insolvency resolution process subject to a maximum of Rs.1 crore.
Process to be followed and forms to be filed under the Pre-packaged Insolvency Resolution Process.
Eligibility criteria to act as Resolution Professionals for Pre-packaged Insolvency Resolution Process.
Duties of Resolution professional before initiation of Pre-packaged Insolvency Resolution Process.
Time limit for completion of Pre-packaged Insolvency Resolution Process.
Procedure for Declaration of moratorium and public announcement during the pre-packaged IRP.
Time limit for Constitution of Committee of Creditors and their rights
Procedure for consideration and approval of resolution plan
Insolvency And Bankruptcy Board Of India (Pre-Packaged Insolvency Resolution Process) Regulations, 2021 and Insolvency and Bankruptcy (Pre-Packaged Insolvency Resolution Process) Rules, 2021 have also been notified to facilitate the complete process of insolvency resolution for MSMEs.
Please refer to the attached notifications for details.
Extended period for parking of unutilised ECB proceeds
Pursuant to the Master Direction on External Commercial Borrowings, Trade Credits and Structured Obligations, ECB borrowers are allowed to park ECB proceeds in term deposits with AD Category-I banks in India for a maximum period of 12 months. As a one-time relaxation due to the Covid-19 pandemic, vide Circular dated 07.04.2021 it has been notified that unutilised ECB proceeds drawn down on or before 01.03.2020 can be parked in term deposits with AD Category-I banks in India prospectively for an additional period up to 01.03.2022.
DGFT vide Notification dated 31.03.2021, has notified that the existing Foreign Trade Policy which was valid only upto 31.03.2021 shall be extended upto 30.09.2021, i.e. FTP 2015-20 shall be in effect upto 30.09.2021.
Annual updation of IEC through online system – no filing fee applicable
All Importer-Exporter Code (IEC) holders are required to update and validate their details annually irrespective of whether there are any changes or not. The same is required to be completed in the April – June quarter. DGFT has also clarified vide Public Notice dated 31.03.2021 that no fee shall be charged for the same.
Failure to complete the verification shall lead to the IEC being marked de-activated disabling all import and export activities.
Online filing of request for closure of advance authorisation
DGFT is in the process of revamping it’s IT systems. As part of the IT revamp, paperless online filing system has been introduced which has been extended to filing of request for closure of advance authorisation including its issuance, amendment and closure w.e.f. 30.03.2021.
A trade notice to this effect has been issued containing the instructions for online filing of application for closure of advance authorisation.
Vide Income tax (9th Amendment) Rules, 2021 dated 05.04.2021, CBDT has notified certain amendments in the following rules:
In Rule 10DA which deals with Maintenance and furnishing of information and document by certain persons under section 92D (Maintenance, keeping and furnishing of information and document by certain persons entering into international transactions and certain specified domestic transactions)
In Rule 10DB which deals with Furnishing of Report in respect of an International Group & Form No. 3CEAB which is an intimation by a designated constituent entity, resident in India, of an international group, for the purposes of sub-section (4) of section 92D of the Income-tax Act, 1961.
Waiver of penalty for non-compliance of QR Code provisions
Vide notification dated 30.03.2021, CBIC has extended the waiver of penalty for non-compliance of QR Code provisions between the period 01.12.2020 – 30.06.2021, subject to the condition that the QR Code provisions are complied with w.e.f. 01.06.2021.
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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