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Relaxation to Minimum Public Shareholding Requirements

Background
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) has, after taking into consideration requests received from listed entities and industry bodies as well as considering the prevailing business and market conditions, decided to grant relaxation from the applicability of the circular dated October 10, 2017 (Circular No. CFD/CMD/CIR/P/2017/115) on the actions to be taken in case of non-compliance of the minimum public shareholding (“MPS”) requirements.
What is minimum public shareholding?
In terms of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Rules, 1957, as amended (“SCRR”) read with Regulation 28 of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015, as amended (“Listing Regulations”), listed companies are required to maintain public shareholding of at least 25%. The obligation to reach and maintain this MPS threshold of 25% is attracted in three separate instances:
(a)Initial listing – In terms of Rule 19(2)(b) of the SCR…

Extension of lockdown till 31 May 2020 in Tamil Nadu

The government of Tamil Nadu had taken several first hand measures since January 2020 with a view to contain the spread of Covid-19. Between the period of January to March 2020, the government had sanctioned essential medicines worth Rs. 146 crores, 21 lakh protective gears, 1.45 crore face masks and 24 lakh N95 masks. The World Health Organization declared Covid-19 as a pandemic, following which the government has undertaken several measures under the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939 and the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897in order to curtail the spread of this disease.
In pursuance of the disaster management laws as applicable in Tamil Nadu, the Tamil Nadu government decided to extend the lock down from 17 May 2020 till 31 May 2020 (12.00 midnight), under the below mentioned guidelines/conditions (“Lock Down Period”). The circular can be accessed here.
Existing restrictions for the below mentioned operations shall stand unaltered until further notification:
1.Functioning of schools, col…

Karnataka Lockdown Extension Order

Pursuant to the updated order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India dated May 17, 2020 bearing No. 40-3/2020-DM-I(A) (“Order”) with the new guidelines on the measures to be taken by Ministries / Department of Government of India / states and state authorities for containing the spread of COVID-19, the Karnataka state government has issued updated guidelines on the measures to be taken for containing the spread of COVID-19 which will come into effect immediately and be valid till May 31, 2020 (“Karnataka Order”). The Karnataka Order can be accessed here.
Below is a brief overview of the Karnataka Order, in addition to those set out by the Order:
1.Permitted Activities
·In all zones areas except containment zones, taxis/autorickshaws (with a maximum of 2 (two) passengers excluding the driver), maxi cabs and aggregators will be permitted to ply with restrictions.
·Barber shops, saloons and spas will be permitted to operate subject to the standard operating procedure pre…

Economic Stimulus Package - May 2020

The Finance Minister, Government of India, announced a 5-part economic stimulus package from 13-17 May 2020, as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat programme.
The incentives announced in each tranche of the stimulus package are as below:
Summary of incentives - Tranche 1
Summary of incentives - Tranche 2
Summary of incentives - Tranche 3
Summary of incentives - Tranche 4
Summary of incentives - Tranche 5
Please note that where statutory reforms have been announced, the relevant amendment bills/ordinances are awaited.

Lockdown 4.0 – MHA Guidelines

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) issued Order Number 1-29/2020 -PP on 17 May 2020, by virtue of its power under Section 6(2)(i) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 (Act) directing the National Executive Committee (NEC) to continue to implement lockdown measures in all parts of the country, to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Such lockdown measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 were first imposed by the NDMA on 24 March 2020, and has now been imposed for the fourth time, until 31 May 2020.
In furtherance of the NDMA orders, the NEC in exercise of its powers under Section 10(2)(l) of the Act, had issued corresponding orders on lockdown measures on 24 March 2020, 29 March 2020, 14 April 2020, 15 April 2020 and 01 May 2020 along with respective addendums (NEC Orders).
Pursuant to the NDMA order on 17 May 2020, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) vide Order No. 40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated 17 May 2020 (Order), has issued guidelines on the measures to be taken by Ministries/ D…

SEBI notifies eight entities to carry out e-KYC Aadhar authentication

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of India, Department of Revenue had vide Gazette Notification No. G.S.R. 261(E) dated April 22, 2020 (“Notification”) permitted, interalia eight reporting entities to carry out electronic know-your-customer (“e-KYC”) Aadhar authentication by exercising its powers under the proviso to Section 11A of the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002 (“PMLA”).
Section 11A of PMLA lays down the documents using which a reporting entity must verify the identity of its clients and the beneficial owner. E-KYC using Aadhar authentication is only permitted to banking companies. However, if the Central Government is satisfied that a reporting entity other than a banking company, complies with the standards of privacy and security under the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 then it may, post consultation with Unique Identification Authority of India (“UIDAI”) and the appropriate regulator, permi…

Key relaxations provided by SEBI from the disclosure obligations under SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015

In view of the COVID 19 pandemic, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) has provided certain relaxations to listed entities, from compliance with certain provisions of the SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 (“SEBI LODR Regulations”) vide its circulars, most recent of which is the circular dated May 12, 2020 (Circular No. SEBI/HO/CFD/CMD1/CIR/P/2020/79), which provides for (i) additional relaxations in line with clarifications released by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (“MCA”) dated April 8, 2020 and April 13, 2020; and (ii) further extension to certain relaxations already provided by SEBI vide its circulars dated March 19, 2020 (Circular No. SEBI/HO/CFD/CMD1/CIR/P/2020/38), March 26, 2020 (Circular No. SEBI/HO/CFD/CMD1/CIR/P/2020/48), April 17, 2020 (Circular No. SEBI/HO/CFD/CMD1/CIR/P/2020/63) and April 23, 2020 (Circular No. SEBI/HO/CFD/CMD1/CIR/P/2020/71.
Set out below are the key relaxations to the SEBI LODR Regulations provide…

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