The first quarter of 2022 witnessed the liberalisation of the Foreign Direct Investment regime and developments aimed at ease of doing business, setting the tone for a promising year of M&A activity.
The previous quarter witnessed another wave of the pandemic and the courts recalibrated accordingly. The Supreme Court, High Courts and NCLAT pronounced important judgments in arbitration and contract law, company law, and insolvency law.
The past quarter witnessed several regulatory and legislative developments in the crypto, telecom and cybersecurity space. In this update, we discuss some of these developments that businesses should watch out for.
The first quarter of the year 2022 witnessed several orders by the government in the wake of the Omicron wave as well as key employment law developments in Gujarat, Jharkhand and Maharashtra. On the judicial front, the Supreme Court issued orders in the case of the controversial Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020, amongst others.
With the Union Budget 2022-2023 being announced on 1 February 2022, the previous quarter has been an eventful period in the financial sector. The Reserve Bank of India has continued its reforms spree and introduced some relevant initiatives.
The previous quarter witnessed a key amendment to the Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices Regulations, 2003, which may now allow SEBI to successfully bring charges for circulation of careless or reckless messages such as stock tips on social media platforms. Further, in line with the broader digital India initiative, the last quarter saw an important development from RBI, pertaining to geo-tagging of payment system touchpoints, to identify the regional penetration of digital payments and monitor infrastructure density across different locations.
The past quarter witnessed key regulatory and legislative developments in the funds and asset management space. SEBI introduced special situation funds and provided clarity on provisions related to change in control of sponsor and/or manager of an AIF. The International Financial Services Centres Authority released regulations for setting up AIFs in GIFT City, Gujarat.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, fuelled in part by the outbreak of the Omicron strain, the stock market continued to surge in the previous quarter with sustained investment in public offerings. To further encourage and facilitate fundraising, the SEBI (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2018 were amended.
This past quarter witnessed several regulatory and judicial developments, such as the Andhra Pradesh High Court's much-awaited decision on re-determination of tariffs, the introduction of the Green Hydrogen Policy, the Electric Vehicle Charging Guidelines, and the Procurement and Utilisation Guidelines for Battery Energy Storage Systems, in addition to various measures introduced as part of the Union Budget.
The Indian income tax framework saw interesting developments in the previous quarter, such as the circular issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes according a restrictive interpretation to certain beneficial treaty provisions, notification of faceless schemes for various tax proceedings and amendments to the Income Tax Act, 1961 with the passage of the Finance Act, 2022.
This update highlights some of the key budgetary changes along with other important developments in the indirect tax space in the last quarter.
The previous quarter saw notable developments around intellectual property rights in India, specifically the Delhi High Court’s rules for adjudication of intellectual property and patent suits. On the international trade front, the United States Trade Representative released its report on foreign trade barriers in the context of intellectual property protection in India.