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Sector Specific Measures by the Indian Government

ASIA LAW OFFICES

Our Response to COVID-19

Various Sectors of Indian Government

Administration

23rd March 2020

The Directorate General of Shipping, Mumbai issued an order extending the Certificate of Competency (COC)/Certificate of Equivalency (COE) for those which were expiring by 1 month

On 23rd March 2020, the Directorate General of Shipping, Mumbai issued an order extending the Certificate of Competency (COC)/Certificate of Equivalency (COE) for those which were expiring by 1 month, exemptions to Safe Manning Documents shall be considered where crew-members are to be signed off due to port and travel restrictions and extension of mandatory surveys, audits and expiry of statutory certificates.

27th of March 2020

The Director General of Civil Aviation issued a notice stating that all existing Licenses, Ratings, Skill Test, Exams for Issue, Medical Assessments, FATA and recency experience requirements will be extended

On 27th of March 2020, the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a notice stating that all existing Licenses, Ratings, Skill Test, Exams for Issue, Medical Assessments, FATA and recency experience requirements will be extended for up to 90 days or until the revocation of the notice, whichever is earlier.

27th of March 2020

The Preliminary Stakeholder Engagement plan was proposed,

On 27th of March 2020, the Preliminary Stakeholder Engagement plan was proposed, a four-year and US$1 billion, for COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project. It is to be financed through World Bank’s COVID19 Fast-Track Facility.

Agriculture and Food Processing

23rd of March 2020

Extension of the time period for the monthly sale quota of sugar for the month of March 2020

On 23rd of March 2020, the Department of Food and Public Distribution, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution issued an order extending the time period for the monthly sale quota of sugar for the month of March 2020 by 15 days, i.e., from 31st of March 2020 to 15th of April 2020.

24th of March 2020

Ministry of Finance announced that all Sanitary Permits expiring between 01st of March 2020 and 15th of April 2020, stand extended by 3 months.

On 24th of March 2020, the Ministry of Finance announced that all Sanitary Permits expiring between 01st of March 2020 and 15th of April 2020, stand extended by 3 months. That the delay of up to 1 month in arrival of consignments will be condoned, that Quarantine cubicles at the Aquatic Quarantine Facility, Chennai which were cancelled consignments may be rebook ed without additional charges and verification of documents for grant of NOC for Quarantine would be relaxed from 7 days to 3 days.

30th March 2020

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has extended the benefit of 2% Interest Subvention (IS) to Banks and 3% Prompt Repayment Incentive (PRI) to all farmers up to 31st of May 2020

On 30th March 2020, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has extended the benefit of 2% Interest Subvention (IS) to Banks and 3% Prompt Repayment Incentive (PRI) to all farmers up to 31st of May 2020 for all crop loans up to Rs. 3 lakhs from by banks which have or will become due between 1st of March 2020 and 31st of May 2020.

Corporate Affairs

23rd of March 2020

Directorate General of Mines Safety, Ministry of Labour and Employment issued a memorandum providing relaxation of one month from due date for submission of notices, returns, and forms

On 23rd of March 2020, the Directorate General of Mines Safety, Ministry of Labour and Employment issued a memorandum providing relaxation of one month from due date for submission of notices, returns, and forms under various regulations of the Mines Act, 1952.

23rd of March 2020

Ministry of Corporate Affairs notified that all funds spent on COVID-19 related activities (specified in Schedule 7(items 1 and 12) of Companies Act) will be eligible to be claimed as CSR

On 23rd of March 2020, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs notified that all funds spent on COVID-19 related activities (specified in Schedule 7(items 1 and 12) of Companies Act) will be eligible to be claimed as CSR.

23rd of March 2020

Ministry of Corporate Affairs released the Company Affirmation of Readiness towards COVID-19 declaration

On 23rd of March 2020, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs released the Company Affirmation of Readiness towards COVID-19 declaration which is to be filed with the Registrar of Companies.

24th of March 2020

Ministry of Corporate Affairs provided relaxations to companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) from statutory requirements

On 24th of March 2020, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs provided relaxations to companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) from statutory requirements under Companies Act, 2013 and LLP Act, 2008.

28th of March 2020

Ministry of Corporate Affairs notified that all contributions to the PM CARES Fund have been made eligible as CSR expenditure

On 28th of March 2020, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs notified that all contributions to the PM CARES Fund have been made eligible as CSR expenditure under Item Nos. (i) and (xii) of Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013.

29th of March 2020

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India notified that the lockdown period presently in force will not be counted in the corporate insolvency resolution process timeline under IBC, 2016.

On 29th of March 2020, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India notified that the lockdown period presently in force will not be counted in the corporate insolvency resolution process timeline under IBC, 2016.

29th of March 2020

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India issued a letter to the Cellular Operators Association of India granting their request for an extension of six weeks from due date of filing monthly and quarterly reports to TRAI.

On 29th of March 2020, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India issued a letter to the Cellular Operators Association of India granting their request for an extension of six weeks from due date of filing monthly and quarterly reports to TRAI.

30th of March 2020

Ministry of Corporate Affairs issued modifications in the LLP Settlement Scheme, 2020 and permitted the delayed filing of documents under the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008.

On 30th of March 2020, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs issued modifications in the LLP Settlement Scheme, 2020 and permitted the delayed filing of documents under the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008.

30th of March 2020

Ministry of Corporate Affairs issued a notification introducing the Companies Fresh Start Scheme notified for permitting delayed filings

On 30th of March 2020, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs issued a notification introducing the Companies Fresh Start Scheme notified for permitting delayed filings under the Companies Act, 2013.

On 20th of March 2020, the Grid Solar Power Division, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy announced an extension of time in the scheduled commissioning date of renewable energy projects due to a disruption in the supply chain.


On 25th of March 2020, the Ministry of Power issued an advisory to the states/UTs on operation of inter-state power generation utilities during the period of lockdown. It was stated that since power is an essential service, the power generation stations should follow the guidelines stated within the advisory.


On 26th of March 2020, the Ministry of Power issued an advisory to the states/UTs on operation and maintenance of inter-state transmission network during lockdown. It was stated that these stations will be operational with skeleton crew or work from home officials and the list of competent Nodal Officers who have been appointed to oversee the functioning of these stations is enclosed.


On 28th of March 2020, the Ministry of Power issued an advisory to the state governments to allow the movement of critical chemicals and consumables required for the purpose of power generation during the lockdown period.


On 28th of March 2020, the Ministry of Power announced major relief measures for the power sector, it was further assured that the Ministry will ensure the supply of electricity 24×7 during the period of lockdown, that the payment of security from a power distribution company to a power generation company is reduced by 50% and that a moratorium of 3 months will be imposed on distribution companies to make the payment to generation companies and similar measure with regards to the transmission licenses.


On 1st of April 2020, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy issued clarifications regarding the moratorium provided to distribution companies. It was stated that Renewable Energy Generating Stations are listed as “must-run” facilities during the period of lockdown and that since the amount of energy provided by the Renewable Energy Generating Stations is minor all payments to them will continue on a normal basis as established by the law in force.


On 4th of April 2020, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy issued another clarification regarding the “must-run” status of the Renewable Energy Generating Stations stating that any act of curtaining them, other than for reasons of grid safety, will amount to deemed generation.


On 6th of April 2020, the Ministry of Power issued clarifications stating the obligation of the electricity distribution companies to pay within specified period (as stipulated in the Power Purchase Agreement) remains, late charges at reduced rate applicable. That distribution companies were only provided relief towards submitting 50% of the security at the time of scheduling the power capacity.


On 11th of March 2020, the Impact Assessment Division, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change issued a memorandum stating that in order to ensure drug production and availability environmental clearances will be granted expeditiously to projects relating to active pharmaceutical ingredients and bulk drug intermediates.


On 25th of March 2020, the Impact Assessment Division, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change issued a memorandum extending the validity of Prior Environmental Clearances in respect of all categories of projects or activities expiring between 15th of March 2020 and 30th of April 2020 to 30th of June 2020 as long as such project or activity is permissible to be carried out as per the relevant laws and regulations in place.


On 27th March 2020 the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change classified all projects and/or activities related to manufacturing bulk drugs and intermediates for the purpose of addressing COVID-19 and other similar diseases with symptoms have been categorised as ‘B2’ up to 30th of September 2020. As a result, entities involved in the manufacture and/or production of medication for these diseases will not be required to file an Environment Impact Assessment Report.


On 19th of March 2020, the Department of Food and Public Distribution, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution requested the states to remove the supply and stock restrictions on alcohols utilized by the sanitiser industry, and permit distilleries to be repurposed for the purposed of producing sanitisers


On 19th of March 2020, the Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution issued a notification categorising the kind of alcohols used for making hand sanitisers as essential commodities and putting a cap on its price (all raw materials are also essential commodities).


On 21st of March 2020, the Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution issued a notification putting a cap on the prices of hand sanitisers, masks, and the fabric used in making masks.


On 24th of March 2020, the Department of Food and Public Distribution, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution requested the states to manufacture sanitizers through alcohol distilleries and also to remove 300% excise duty on ethanol that is used for the purpose of making sanitizers.


On 24th of March 2020, the Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution issued a notification putting a cap on the prices of 3ply surgical mask containing a layer of Melt Blown non-Woven Fabric at Rs. 16/- per piece.


On 24th of March 2020, the Ministry of Labour and Employment issued an advisory to all CMs/LGs asking them to release cess funds (of around Rs 52,000 crore) collected by Labour Welfare Boards under the Building and Other Construction Workers Act, 1996 to all construction workers in order to assist them during the period of lockdown.


On 26th of March 2020 the Ministry of Finance announced a relief package of Rs. 1.70 Lakh Crores under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana to help the poor fight the spread of COVID-19 during the period of lockdown.


On 27th March 2020, the Ministry of Labour and Employment issued a notification permitting the non-refundable advance to employees from their PF accounts of either the amount equal to three months’ salary or 75% of the amount in PF account, whichever is lesser.


On 3rd of April 2020, the Ministry of Home Affairs release Rs 11,092 crores approved by the centre to various states under the State Disaster Relief Fund to assist them in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.


On 3rd of April 2020, the Reserve Bank of India decided to permit the receipt of foreign inward remittances from non-residents for Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) Fund.


On 4th of March 2020, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India issued guidelines to be followed by insurers for handling of insurance claims reported under COVID-19.


On 16th of March 2020, the Reserve Bank of Indian issued measures for the continuity of business and other operations that are to be taken by banks and other financial institutions such as: (i) taking stock of critical processes, and (ii) encouraging customers to take up digital banking facilities etc.


On 19th of March 2020, the Securities and Exchange Board of India relaxed the requirement of compliance of certain obligations and disclosure requirements in view of CoVID pandemic, such as: (i) filing of corporate governance report, (ii) compliance certificate on share transfer facility etc.


On 23rd of March 2020, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India proposed specific measures with respect to life insurance, in view of COVID-19. It provided a grace period for premiums due in March 2020 and stated that they will be extended by a month in all states where lockdown has been declared.


On 23rd of March 2020, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India proposed measures to ensure smooth operation of the insurance industry, such as relaxation in renewal and payment of premium for life insurance or health insurance etc.


On 24th of March 2020, the Securities and Exchange Board of India issued a notification exempting capital and debt market services from the nationwide lockdown. These include registered stock exchanges, clearing corporations and mutual funds, among others.


On 27th of March 2020, the Securities and Exchange Board of India provided relaxation from Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers Regulations. The due date for filing disclosures has been extended from 31st of March 2020 to 1st of June 2020.


On 27th of March 2020, the Reserve Bank of India issued instructions to banks/NBFCs on the measures which can be used to ease the burden of debt servicing, a three-month moratorium period on payment of instalments etc.


On 27th of March 2020, the Reserve Bank of Indian released a statement on development and regulatory policies to address the stress in financial conditions caused by COVID-19. These include expanding liquidity in the system and relaxing repayment pressures.


On 27th of March 2020, the Reserve Bank of Indian reduced the policy repo rate from 5.15% to 4.4% and reverse repo rate from 4.9% to 4.0% in March 2020, due to the negative effects of COVID-19.


On 28th of March 2020, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India provided relaxation to insurers with respect to submitting their Board approved Final Re-insurance Programme by 31st of May 2020.


On 30th of March 2020, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India proposed steps that are to be taken by insurers amidst COVID-19 pandemic for smooth functioning of the insurance industry. These include: (i) displaying FAQs related to COVID-19 claims on their website, (ii) putting in place a Business Continuity Plan etc.


On 30th of March 2020, the Securities and Exchange Board of India provided temporary relaxation in processing of documents pertaining to Foreign Portfolio Investor’s due to the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19. The relaxations were granted up to 30th of June 2020.


On 30th of March 2020, the Ministry of Communications has given an extension for the payment of the premium of Postal Life Insurance to 30th April 2020.


On 1st of April 2020, the Reserve Bank of India announced an extension of realisation period of export proceeds, increases in the limit on Ways and Means Advances (temporary loans from RBI to governments) by 30% for all states and UTs and provided an exemption from implementation of a countercyclical capital buffer (CCyB) for a period of one year.


On 1st of April 2020 the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India issued clarifications via a press release stating that indemnity-based health insurance products that cover the treatment costs of hospitalization should cover the costs of hospitalization treatment on account of COVID-19.


On 1st of April 2020, the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance issued notifications stating insurance policyholders whose motor vehicle and health insurance policies fall due for renewal between 25th of March 2020 and 14th of April 2020 and are unable to renew their premium are allowed to make premium payment till 21st of April 2020 to continue their cover.


On 3rd of April 2020, the Reserve Bank of India announced the third targeted long-term repo operation for additional Rs 25,000 crore of 3-year tenor on April 9, to ease liquidity.


On 4th of April 2020, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India issued provided an additional grace period of 30 days for life insurance policies whose premiums fall due in March and April 2020 and also provided guidelines and settlement options for maturity pay out of Unit Linked Policies.


On 17th of January 2020, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued a travel advisory recommending traveller from China to monitor their health and seek medical care if they exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.


On 20th of January 2020, the Indian Council of Medical Research published guidelines on the manner of collecting, packaging and transporting samples for testing for COVID-19.


On 27th of January 2020, the Ministry of Shipping issued a notice pertaining to the preparedness measures that should be undertaken at all ports to deal with COVID-19 such as filling out self-declaration forms, wearing N-95 Masks and personal protective gear etc.


On 4th of March 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular expanding the universal screening to all passengers on all flights coming from any other country.


On 10th of March 2020, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued an advisory suspending all existing visas which were granted to nationals of France, Germany and Spain. Visas of all foreign nationals that have travelled to these countries were also suspended.


On 11th of March 2020, the Ministry of Shipping published the Standard Operating Procedure to handle COVID-19 for international cruise ships docked at major ports. Any passenger or crew with a travel history to any of the countries affected by COVID-19 since 1st of February 2020 will not be allowed to enter any Indian port till 31st of March 2020. International cruise ships will be allowed only in the ports with thermal screening available.


On 16th of March 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular expanding the compulsory quarantine to minimum of 14 days for all passengers coming from or through UAE, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait and travel is prohibited for those passengers coming from countries that members of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey and the United Kingdom.


On 17th of March 2020, the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular on preventative steps towards the spread of COVID-19. The circular urged for the disinfection of the aircraft, personal protective equipment for the crew especially when interacting with passengers, guidelines for airline operators.


On 18th of March 2020, the Ministry of Civil Aviation issued Standard operating procedures for passenger movement after disembarkation from airplanes. Certain provisions include: (i) staggering arrival of passengers to make screening of passengers easier, (ii) setting up of 5 screening counters per airport, and (iii) ensuring that high risk passengers are quarantined at the specified facilities.


On 20th of March 2020, the Ministry of Shipping issued instructions regarding interim guidance for shipping and seafarers to prevent and manage the outbreak of COVID-19 such as undergoing compulsive quarantine for period as deemed necessary.


On 20th of March 2020, the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology issued a memorandum regarding rapid response regulatory framework to be followed so as to rapidly deal with the applications for development of vaccines and diagnostics.


On 20th March 2020, the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a notification providing guidelines for recurrent training requirements of airline crew. the crew are to be trained in technical, performance & special ops, safety emergency procedures training, dangerous goods training etc.


On 22nd of March 2020, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued guidelines for private and public labs for the purpose of testing for COVID-19 in patient samples.


On 23rd of March 2020, the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular mandating airlines and airport operators to observe and follow the guidelines on social distancing.


On 23rd of March 2020, the Director General of Civil Aviation issued guidelines for managing crew and ensuring health protocols for them. The guidelines included filling self-declaration forms by crew members, declaring if any symptoms are exhibited etc.


On 25th of March 2020, the Central Pollution Control Board, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change issued the guidelines for the handling, treatment and disposal of waste generated during the treatment, diagnosis or quarantine of COVID-19 patients. These included keeping separate colour coded bins/bags/containers in wards and maintaining proper segregation of waste as per BMWM Rules, 2016, use of double layered bags (using 2 bags) for the collection of waste from COVID-19 isolation wards so as to ensure adequate strength and no-leaks, collection and storing of biomedical waste separately prior to handing over of the same to CBWTF, etc.


On 26th of March 2020, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued a notification stating that Hydroxychloroquine may be sold on prescription basis only.


On 30th of March 2020, the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular listing out the precautions which are to be taken during air cargo operations. These include Social Distancing, using personal protective equipment, disinfecting the workplace, etc.


On 25th of January 2020, a travel advisory was issued asking them to cancel all non-essential travel to China, that those who still travel should follow simple public health measures at all times and that they should monitor their health closely.


On 30th of January 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular stating that all passengers and crew arriving from COVID-19 affected countries are to be screened, in-flight announcements should be made asking passengers to report any symptoms.


On 3rd of February 2020, the travel advisory was revised advised travellers to refrain from travelling to China, Republic of Korea, Iran, Italy and Japan, and further that the existing visas of foreign nationals travelling to India from China, Singapore, South Korea, Iran and Italy have been cancelled.


On 3rd of February 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular regarding the temporary suspension of e-Visa Services for passengers holding Chinese passports and even those that have been issued are no longer valid.


On 4th of February 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular stating that passengers coming from China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand will all be screened by APHO immediately after deboarding.


On 5th of February 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular stating that all existing visas, including e-visas, are no longer valid for any foreign national travelling from China, people were also advised not to travel to China, and that they will be quarantined on return from China.


On 6th of February 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular reiterating that all visa for Chinese foreign nationals stand cancelled. The same is also applicable for any other foreign presently in China or those who have been to China on or after 15th of January 2020. These restrictions are not applicable on Aircrew.


On 13th of February 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular stating that the screening of passengers will be made universal for all passengers arriving in flights from Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Singapore.


On 23rd of February 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular stating that there will screening for all passengers arriving in flights directly from Nepal, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia.


On 26th of February 2020 a travel advisory was issued urging citizens to refrain from travel to China, Singapore, South Korea, Iran and Italy, that persons travelling into India from these countries will be quarantined for 14 days.


On 28th of February 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular stating that Visa-On-Arrival facilities extended to Japan and South Koreans is suspended until further notice. Passengers with existing visas may travel will be allowed entry into India provided they haven’t been to China post 15th of January 2020.


On 2nd of March 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular stating that universal screening is to be increased to passengers arriving from Italy, Iran, Nepal, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia as well.


On 3rd of March 2020, the Bureau of Immigration, Ministry of Home Affairs issued a travel advisory stating that all existing visas for Japanese nationals stand suspended, that all persons entering India at any port must fill a self-declaration form including information on travel history. Persons from China, South Korea, Japan, Iran, Italy, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand, Singapore and Taiwan must undergo medical screening at port of entry.


On 3rd of March 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular regarding the travel restrictions imposed due to COVID-19. That all visas issued before 03rd of March 2020 to nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan who have not entered India stand suspended, visas issued to all foreign nationals who have travelled to China, Iran, Italy, South Korea and Japan on or before 01st of February stand suspended etc.


On 5th of March 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular stating that those who have travelled to Republic of Korea will require a certificate proving they tested negative for COVID-19 before entering India.


On 10th of March 2020, Standard Operating Procedures for International Cruise Ships at major ports of India was introduced. According to the new SOPs only international cruise ships which had planned to dock at an Indian port prior to 1st of January 2020 will be allowed to dock. Any international cruise ship or passenger/crew with a travel history to COVID-19 affected countries since 1st of February 2020 will not be permitted into India.


On 10th of March 2020, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued an advisory suspending all existing visas which were granted to nationals of France, Germany and Spain. Visas of all foreign nationals that have travelled to these countries were also suspended.


On 11th of March 2020, the Committee of Secretaries recommended that all visas except employment based and diplomatic visas are to be suspended until 15th of April 2020.


On 11th of March 2020, the Ministry of External Affairs discussed the ongoing efforts to rescue Indians stranded in Iran and Italy. It was stated that plans have been put in place to send in a team of Indian doctors to conduct the COVID-19 tests and put them on flights back to India.


On 11th of March 2020, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued an advisory suspending all existing visas, and initiating quarantine for 14 days for any travellers coming from Iran, Italy, China, Korea, France, Spain and Germany. Further


On 11th of March, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular stating all visas granted to nationals of France, Germany and Spain issued before March 11, and who have not entered India yet stand cancelled. Regular visas granted to foreign nationals who have travelled to China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Japan, France, Germany and Spain on or after Feb1 and have not entered India stand suspended. Indians and OCI card holders from Italy and South Korea should carry tested negative certificates from designated labs. Visas of foreigners already in India remain valid. They may contact the nearest FRRO office for extension of visa. Diplomats from these 8 countries exempted, but medical screening mandatory.


On 12th of March 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular that all existing visas except those issued to Diplomats, Officials, UN/International Organizations, Employment, Project Visas stand suspended till 15th of April 2020.


On 13th of March 2020, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued a memorandum on the restrictions imposed on all passenger movements through immigration land check posts and that they will be suspended from 15th of March 2020 onwards.


On 16th of March 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular expanding the compulsory quarantine to minimum of 14 days for all passengers coming from or through UAE, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait and travel is prohibited for those passengers coming from countries that members of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey and the United Kingdom.


On 17th of March 2020, an additional travel advisory was issued prohibiting the travel of passengers from Afghanistan, Malaysia, and Philippines up to 31st of March 2020.


On 19th of March 2020, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued an additional travel advisory stating that no international commercial flights may land in India from 22nd of March 2020 to 29th of March 2020, that no international commercial flights may take-off from India from 22nd of March 2020 to 29th of March 2020.


On 20th of March 2020, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare made screening of all passengers coming from Australia, UK, and USA a mandatory condition.


On 21st of March 2020, the Directorate General of Shipping, Mumbai issued an addendum updating the list of infected countries identified for mandatory quarantine and travel ban by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.


On 23rd of March 2020, the Directorate General of Shipping issued an order suspending all pre-sea courses and issued an advisory for all Indian seafarers working on Indian or foreign ships to not sign off and be repatriated from their ships except in emergency situations.


On 26th of March 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation extended the ban on international commercial passenger flights till 9.30 pm 14th of April 2020.


On 22nd of March 2020, the National Company Law Tribunal issued notice for closure of all NCLT benches except for urgent matters till 31st of March 2020. That only NCLT, Chennai shall be open but will function completely through electronic means.


On 28th of March 2020, the National Company Law Tribunal issued a notice extending the closure from 31st of March 2020 to 14th of April 2020.


On 31st of March 2020, a status report was filed in the Supreme Court of India in the matter of Alakh Alok Srivastava vs. the Union of India detailing the measures taken to deal with COVID-19 and protect the interest of migrant workers.


On 1st of April 2020, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced that while disposing the writ petition of Alakh Alok Srivastava vs. the Union of India, the Supreme Court decision directed redressal of grievances faced by migrant workers across India, that states should provide shelter homes, medical facilities, food, water and sanitation for migrant workers. Further, counsellors and community group leaders should be accessible at relief camps for the psychological benefit of these workers and that the police should treat migrant workers humanely.


On 1st of April 2020, the office of Home Secretary issued a letter to the Chief Secretaries of all states, to the Administrators of all states and to the advisor to the Administrators/LGs on compliance of the directions by the central government in dealing with migrant workers and essential supplies.


On 2nd of April 2020, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued instructions to all states/UTs on compliance with the directions of the Supreme Court on curbing the spread of fake news and providing basic amenities to migrant workers.


On 20th of March 2020, the Ministry of Labour & Employment issued an advisory to employers of all public and private establishments to refrain from terminating their employees or reducing their wages.


On 23rd of March 2020, the Ministry of Finance issued a memorandum stating that all contractual, casual, and outsourced staff of all central government departments and organisations will be considered ‘on duty’ till 30th of April 2020 and their wages should be paid accordingly.


On 23rd of March 2020, the Ministry of Railways issued a notice stating that all contractual staff (contracts awarded on manpower basis) will be paid as “on duty” and that the maximum payment will be limited to 70% of the contract value for contracts awarded on lumpsum basis.


On 19th March 2020, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued a statement that the of the total electronics imported into India, 40% are form China and 17% from Hong Kong and as a result of the outbreak there has been a major disruption in the supply chain. The resulting shortage in supply will lead to rise in the price by about 7-10%. The Ministry estimates that it will take at least 6 months for supplies to be normalized and the ultimate impact on production could well extend beyond one year.


On 26th of March 2020, the Weights and Measures Unit, Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has provided an extension of three months for verification & stamping of weights and measures and any extra fees payable due to expiry of the existing weights and measures will be relaxed for the prescribed period.


On 30th of March 2020, the Ministry of Railways extended the duration of closure of all Production Units and Zonal Railway Workshops up to 14th of April 2020.


On 3rd of March 2020, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting issued an advisory to all private TV/FM radio channels regarding publicity of travel/VISA restrictions.


On 20th of March 2020, the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology issued an advisory to social media platforms to curb false news/misinformation on COVID-19.


On 23rd of March 2020, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued an advisory to state/UTs to ensure operational continuity of Print and Electronic Media.


On 3rd of April 2020, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued an advisory to states/UTs urging them to make use of the fact check unit’s setup by PIB, and in turn, setting up similar units in their states/UTs with support for vernacular languages.


On 23rd of March 2020, both houses of the Parliament were adjourned after the Budget Session 2020. That keeping in mind the situation relating to COVID-19 and its spread, the parliamentary session was curtailed on 23rd of March 2020 after a general consensus was reached across party lines.


On 24th of March 2020, the Ministry of Finance announced that the deadlines for filing tax returns, linking Aadhaar card and PAN card, and all due dates for compliances have been extended; interest rates and rates of additional charges have been either lowered/relaxed or no late fees/penalties will be charged for delayed payments if made within the new timeline.


On 31st of March 2020, the Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Ordinance, 2020 was introduced which provided extension of time limits for various tax compliances, for completing any pending proceeding or passing any order, notice etc. by an authority, for filing an appeal, reply, application for providing documents, added PM Cares Fund to 80G so all donations are 100% deductible.


On 31st of March 2020, the Central Board of Direct Taxes, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance stated that persons whose applications for lower tax collection/deduction at source were not approved/could not be applied for, can use the certificate of the previous financial year. Further that, in the event a person does not have a previous year certificate, the procedure for application has been modified and included in the notification and that for Non-Residents (including foreign companies) having Permanent Establishment in India who do not have previous year certificates deductions will be made at 10% including surcharge and cess.


On 3rd April 2020, the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance issued notifications in relation to Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 along with the Integrated Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 and the Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 and provided extensions to the various GST compliances up to 30th of June 2020.


On 4th of March 2020, the Central Board of Direct Taxes, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance issued a press release where it reiterated the contents of its release dated 31st of March 2020 relating to applications on lower tax collection and deduction and further stated that if small tax payers have submitted valid 15G and 15H Forms to the banks for pervious year then the same would continue to apply till 30th of June 2020 to safeguard them against TDS where there is no tax liability.


On 13th of March 2020, the Ministry of Communications issued a notification relaxing the terms and conditions for work from home to Other Service Providers (ITES/BPO) till 30th April 2020 which were announced by the Department of Telecommunications on 7th of October 2017.


On 20th of March 2020, the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology issued a rapid response regulatory framework to deal with the applications for development of vaccines and diagnostics in the fight against COVID-19.


On 22nd of March 2020, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in association with FICCI, FIO, Pune, Robotex International announced “Hackathon” inviting solutions for containment of COVID-19. The intent is to develop ideas that can be converted into prototypes in 48-hours which could help solve the crisis as well as to give India an edge in the post-crisis world.


On 23rd of March 2020, the Ministry of Communications issued the format for furnishing information on work from home by Other Service Providers (OSPs) in reference to the notification dated 13th of March 2020. OSPs are required to submit details such as physical and static IP addresses of the employees etc.


On 26th of March 2020, the Ministry of Science and Technology announced that it has setup a task force for mapping technologies by Start Ups on COVID-19 as well as scout for new and developing solutions to prepare the Country for exigencies of the COVID-19 pandemic.


On 27th of March 2020, the Ministry of Science and Technology initiated the exercise of mapping COVID-19 solutions through research and development and scale up support. Proposals are invited for protection and home-based respiratory interventions for COVID-19 patients and that Sri Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Science and Technology (SCTIMST), Trivandrum, an autonomous institute under Department of Science has already begun producing 8 different prototypes to address COVID-19 health challenges.


On 25th of February 2020, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued a notification prohibiting the export of any personal protection equipment or masks except surgical masks, certain types of gloves, ophthalmic instruments and medical goggles, surgical blades etc.


On 3rd of March 2020, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued a notification prohibiting the export of specified Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and formulations such as Paracetamol, Vitamin B12, Neomycin etc.


On 19th of March 2020, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued a notification prohibiting the export of masks, ventilators, textile raw material for masks, coveralls etc.


On 23rd of March 2020, the Ministry of Railways issued a notification relaxing the haulage charges related to freight transport up to 30th of April 2020.


On 23rd of March 2020, the Ministry of Railways issued a notification relaxing the demurrage and wharfage rules related to freight transport up to 31st March 2020.


On 24th of March 2020, the Directorate General of Shipping, Mumbai issued clarifications stating cargo ships carrying goods for trade or essential goods and supplies are exempted from prohibition related to immigration.


On 24th of March 2020, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued a notification prohibiting the export of ventilators and any artificial respiratory apparatus or oxygen therapy apparatus or any breathing appliance and sanitizers.


On 25th of March 2020, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued a notification prohibiting the export of hydroxychloroquine.


On 26th of March 2020, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued a notification stating that the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade has set up a Control Room to monitor the status of transportation and delivery of goods, manufacturing, and delivery of essential commodities etc.


On 26th of March 2020, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade issued a notification informing that a helpdesk has been operationalised for COVID-19 related trade issues.


On 28th of March 2020, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry informed of the initiatives taken by Government E-marketplace (GeM) for the ease of procurement, seller onboarding etc.


On 29th of March 2020, the Directorate General of Shipping, Mumbai issued an advisory on non-charging of container detention charges on import and export shipments for the period from 22nd of March 2020 to 14th of April 2020.


On 30th of March 2020, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry proposed relaxations on compliances to be met by units/developers/co-developers of SEZs. The relaxations were granted up to 30th of June 2020.


On 30th of March 2020, the Securities and Exchange Board of India provided temporary relaxation in processing of documents pertaining to Foreign Portfolio Investors due to COVID-19.


On 31st of March 2020, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry extended the validity of Registration cum Membership Certificate of members of Export Promotion Councils expiring in March 2020 up to September 2020.


On 31st of March 2020, the Directorate General of Shipping, Mumbai issued an advisory on non-charging of demurrage, ground rent beyond the allowed free period of any performance related penalty on non-containerized cargo during the period of lockdown.


On 31st of March 2020, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry called for affordable access to medicine and the G-20 Trade and Investment Ministers decided to keep the markets open for easier movement of health professionals across borders.


On 31st of March 2020, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued a notification stating that the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020 will be extended for one year, that export promotion schemes are to continue along with other immediate relief measures.


On 1st of April 2020, the Reserve Bank of India announced an extension of realisation period of export proceeds, increases in the limit on Ways and Means Advances (temporary loans from RBI to governments) by 30% for all states and UTs and provided an exemption from implementation of a countercyclical capital buffer (CCyB) for a period of one year.


On 2nd April 2020, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued that scanned copies of pre-registration and other documents for registration under European Union Generalised System of Preferences are to be accepted.


On 3rd of April 2020, the Director General of Civil Aviation issued an order extending of validity of certain approvals and licenses/authorisations issued under the Aircraft Rules, 1937 in lieu of the lockdown announced to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


On 3rd of April 2020, the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular extending the Airworthiness Review Certificate (ARC) during the lockdown phase of COVID-19.


On 3rd of April 2020, the Directorate General of Shipping, Mumbai issued an addendum to the order on extension of validity of seafarer’s CoC and statutory certificates, periodical surveys and audits of Indian registered ships in view of COVID-19 outbreak.


On 3rd of April 2020, the Directorate General of Shipping, Mumbai issued an order extending the validity of ship sanitation certificate for all Indian registered vessels operating on the coast of India in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.


On 4th of April 2020, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued an amendment to the export policy of hydroxychloroquine and formulations made from hydroxychloroquine. By this amendment, they are to remain prohibited without any exception.


On 4th of April 2020, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued a notification restricting the export of specified diagnostic kits.


On 6th of April 2020, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued an amendment in the export policy of certain active pharmaceutical ingredients and formulations made from them. By the amendment, their expert has been changed from restricted to free.


On 7th of April 2020, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued a notification extending the deadline for certain requests under the Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) scheme extended up to 31st of March 2021.


30th of January 2020

All passengers and crew arriving from COVID-19 affected countries are to be screened

The Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular stating that all passengers and crew arriving from COVID-19 affected countries are to be screened, in-flight announcements should be made asking passengers to report any symptoms.

5th of February 2020

All existing visas, including e-visas, are no longer valid for any foreign national travelling from China.

On 5th of February 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular stating that all existing visas, including e-visas, are no longer valid for any foreign national travelling from China.

8th of February 2020

All visa for Chinese foreign nationals stand cancelled

On 8th of February 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular reiterating that all visa for Chinese foreign nationals stand cancelled. The same is also applicable for any other foreign presently in China or those who have been to China on or after 15th of January 2020. These restrictions are not applicable on Aircrew.

23rd of February 2020

Reiterating the contents of circular dated 13th of February 2020.

On 23rd of February 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular reiterating the contents of circular dated 13th of February 2020.

3rd of March 2020

A circular providing guidelines for the Ground Handling Staff, Crew Members and Airport Staff and Airline Operators

On 3rd of March 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular providing guidelines for the Ground Handling Staff, Crew Members and Airport Staff and Airline Operators in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

4th of March 2020

Universal screening to all passengers on all flights

On 4th of March 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular expanding the universal screening to all passengers on all flights coming from any other country.

10th March 2020

All airlines to have sufficient self-declaration forms at hand.

On 10th March 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular mandating it for all airlines to have sufficient self-declaration forms at hand.

12th of March 2020

Airlines should support their passengers by waiving off cancellation/reschedule charges or by providing some other incentive

On 12th of March 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular that keeping in the mind the uncertainty as well as frequent changes in flight schedules, airlines should support their passengers by waiving off cancellation/reschedule charges or by providing some other incentive.

14th of March 2020

All passengers to India will be mandatorily screened

On 14th of March 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular stating that all passengers to India will be mandatorily screened, and fill in a self-declaration, and is to provide correct and detailed address of stay in India and contact number.

17th of March 2020

Prohibition of the travel of passengers from Afghanistan, Philippines and Malaysia.

On 17th of March 2020, Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular prohibiting the travel of passengers from Afghanistan, Philippines and Malaysia.

23rd of March 2020

Banning all domestic flights

On 23rd of March 2020, the Ministry of Civil Aviation issued an order banning all domestic flights (except all-cargo) from 24th of March 2020 till 31st of March 2020.

23rd of March 2020

The Ministry of Railways issued a suspending all passenger trains

On 23rd of March 2020, the Ministry of Railways issued a suspending all passenger trains. It is further stated that all entry/exits to and from stations are to be shut off and the RPF must be prepared to tackle any security concerns at stations, such as preventing people from boarding goods trains.

27th of March 2020

Extending the ban on domestic air travel extended till 23.59 hours, 14th of April 2020

On 27th of March 2020, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation issued a circular extending the ban on domestic air travel extended till 23.59 hours, 14th of April 2020.

30th of March 2020

Documents which expired on 1st of February 2020 or are about to expire before 30th of June 2020 will be extended

On 30th of March 2020, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways issued a notification regarding the validity of documents related to Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 during the period of lockdown. It is stated that the documents which expired on 1st of February 2020 or are about to expire before 30th of June 2020 will be extended and may be treated as valid till 30th of June 2020.

31st of March 2020

The Ministry of Tourism launched “Stranded in India” initiative

On 31st of March 2020, the Ministry of Tourism launched “Stranded in India” initiative and online portal to help foreign tourists who are stuck in various parts of India during the lockdown.

Key Measure Adopted within the Indian Legal System

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Sector Specific Measures by the Indian Government

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Asia Law Offices advised a major transnational strategic collaboration between its client, UAE-Based Pharmax Pharmaceuticals, and Swiss pharma major Acino Pharmaceuticals.

ALO represented Pharmax in the structuring and closure of entire transaction documents of the significant collaboration.

The collaboration framework extends to licensing, manufacturing, and supply of Acino formulations within the gastroenterology and the cardiovascular space throughout the Middle East and Africa.