Simplifying the KYC process and business identifier

Anita Baid, Vice President |


The regulations for conducting customer identification and due diligence by financial sector entities have been laid down by RBI and SEBI, in accordance with the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act and Rules. Under the current regime, the KYC process extends from physical KYC to digital and video-based KYC as well. The physical process of collecting KYC documents and verifying the same involves a lot of paperwork. On the other hand, the Digital KYC Process is a facility that allows lenders to undertake the KYC of custom​​ers via an authenticated application, specifically developed for this purpose, hence making it a paperless process. The Digital KYC process, however, also requires physical interaction. Video-based KYC is both paperless and without any physical intervention.

Read more

Budget 2023 and Gift IFSC: Making Things Happen

Anirudh Grover, Executive |

Background and Existing Framework

The International Financial Services Centre (“IFSC”) situated in the GIFT city is deemed to be a quasi-foreign territory from the lens of Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 however a domestic area under the tax regime. The objective of setting up specified territory lies in the benefits an IFSC jurisdiction provides in the form of free flow of foreign transactions and investor confidence; this setting up is commonly termed as onshoring the offshore. 

In order to materialize the underlying objective, a specific regulatory framework has been designed which includes the incorporation of the following major entities:

  1. Finance Companies: The concept of Finance Companies are pari materia to the concept of non-banking financial companies, the unified regulator IFSCA has issued regulations specifically dealing with the concept of Finance Companies. The detailed write up of which can be found in our write up.
  2. Fund Management Entities (‘FMEs’): FMEs are entities which act as pooling vehicles for various kinds of investors, this concept of FME’s is equivalent to the concept of Alternative Investment Fund. A designated regulatory framework has been specially established by the unified regulatory for governing the framework of FMEs in IFSC, the details of which can be captured from our write up
  3. Banking Units: As far as Banking Units are concerned, the IFSCA has outlined a framework through which Indian banks or foreign banks can set up their shop in the form of branches in IFSC GIFT City. The IFSCA (Banking) Regulations, 2020 are the principal regulations governing the Banking Units established in the IFSC GIFT City. My colleague has already covered the regulatory overview on this aspect in our write up

Apart from these entities there are other entities as well which are running their businesses from IFSC GIFT City which includes Fintech Entities, Capital Market Intermediaries and Insurance Intermediaries. The Union Budget of 2022 paved the way for bringing fundamental changes in the IFSC jurisdiction which resulted in the establishment of a regulatory framework namely IFSCA (Setting up and Operation of International Branch Campuses and Offshore Education Centres) Regulations, 2022. By virtue of these regulations now Foreign Universities have been allowed to set up their base in IFSC. Further the Union Budget 2022 also laid the ground for establishment of an Arbitration Centre which would allow disputes to be resolved in record time. 

Albeit these announcements came out to be a key in evincing interest in the IFSC jurisdiction however it is perceived that there are certain pivotal areas of law which require further modifications/clarifications which is expected to be a part of the Union Budget of 2023.

Read more

The Munis of India: Facilitating municipal bonds

Rhea Shah, Executive |

India may be said to be the land of munis and rishis; however, when it comes to what the capital markets know as munis, namely, municipal bonds, India lags substantially behind other bond issuing jurisdictions. The Municipal Bonds market is still at the nascent stage, thereby requiring a robust regulatory framework and other regulations to be in place for its effective functioning. Issued by municipal authorities and government entities to meet their day-to-day operational needs, munis in the Indian market context are generally seen as a favourable investment to make.   Our detailed articles on the subject may be viewed here[1].

Munis in the Economic survey

As per the Economic Survey, the yields of municipal bonds during the year 2022-2023 have seen a significant rise, thereby enhancing investors’ interest in the market. The Union Budget was expected to bring about favorable outcomes for munis thereby having an effect of promoting the further development of the market and simultaneously ensuring its due regulation.  In the recent period, there has been a resurgence of municipal bond issuances in India, with nine MCs raising around ₹3,840 crore during 2017-21.

Read more

Budget gives major boost for infrastructure

Timothy Lopes, Manager |

Giving a push to the infrastructure sector has always been a top priority of the government, since developing infrastructure has a large role to play in terms of the overall growth of an economy. Infrastructure and investment were named as the third priority in the budget speech 2023-24 made by the Hon’ble Finance Minister.

Read more

Measures for promoting MSMEs: credit guarantees and timely payments 

The MSME segment represents 30%[1] of the Gross Domestic Product of the country and is a key to India’s vision to become a USD 5 trillion economy. As a result, this has always been a focus area so far as macro-economic policy-making is considered. 

During the present year’s budget, the FM highlighted that one of the key areas where the Government has worked on is ease of access to finance. 

Access to finance has always been a problem for the MSMEs in the country, and the reasons for this are many, including lack of standardisation of business processes, lack of credit history, lack of formal collateral, etc. To plug the demand and supply gap in MSME financing, the Government of India has over the years launched several schemes to directly or indirectly channelise institutional finance to this segment.

Of the several initiatives taken by the Government, the one which has gained the most popularity is the Credit Guarantee Scheme for Micro & Small Enterprises. To operationalise this, the GOI and SIDBI together formed the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE). The CGTMSE primarily extends guarantee in case of collateral-free loans and loans with insufficient collateral to micro and small enterprises. 

Read more

Takeaways from Budget 2022-23 – Fast Track Exit for Companies

By Shaivi Bhamaria – Associate, []


Over the past few years the Government of India has been increasingly focusing on ‘ease of doing business’ by corporates, and has taken several initiatives towards the same, such as exemption to private companies from the requirement of minimum paid up capital by way of the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2015; establishment to the Central Registration Centre (‘CRC’) under section 396 of the Companies Act, 2013 (‘CA, 2013’) for providing speedy incorporation related services; launch of the integrated web form SPICe+ and integration of the MCA21 system with the CBDT for issue of PAN and TAN to a company incorporated using SPICe+; launch of  web based service R.U.N. (Reserve Unique Name) for reserving a name for a new company, etc..

However, the term ‘ease of doing business’ includes not only a seamless start to a business or making the journey less cumbersome, but also involves the ease of exit. While there are various modes of exit available to corporates,  such as winding up, summary liquidation, mergers and amalgamations etc[1], given that in voluntary modes of exit like striking off or voluntary liquidation under IBC, the company is either solvent enough to meet its liabilities or holds nil assets and liabilities, ideally, the closure processes is expected to be fast and simple, However, it has been observed that these voluntary modes have not been essentially ‘easy’ given the significant delays associated with them.

It is in the backdrop of such delays, the Union Budget, 2022-23[2] has proposed certain reforms, specifically for speeding up the striking off process under section 248 (2) of the Companies Act. Further, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (‘IBBI’) has issued a Discussion Paper dated 1st February, 2022[3] proposing amendments in the IBBI (Voluntary Liquidation) Regulations, 2016, for ensuring a faster closure of voluntary liquidation processes.

In this write up, the author discusses the two sets of proposed reforms as mentioned above, and attempts to gauge their effectiveness at present and post implementation of the proposed amendments. Read more