Exemption to Rural Banks from Regulation of Combinations.

exemptionMinistry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has issued Notification number S.O. 2561(E) dated the 10th August, 2017 that in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (a) of section 54 of the Competition Act, 2002 (12 of 2003), the Central Government, in public interest, hereby exempts the Regional Rural Banks in respect of which the Central Government has issued a notification under sub-section (1) of section 23A of the Regional Rural Banks Act, 1976 (21 of 1976), from the application of provisions of sections 5 and 6 of the Competition Act, 2002 for a period of five years from the date of publication of this notification in the Official Gazette.

Section 5 and 6 of the Competition Act, 2002 deals with combinations and regulation of combinations which are stated herein below for the ready reference:-

Combination

  1. The acquisition of one or more enterprises by one or more persons or merger or amalgamation of enterprises shall be a combination of such enterprises and persons or enterprises, if—

(a) any acquisition where—

(i) the parties to the acquisition, being the acquirer and the enterprise, whose control, shares, voting rights or assets have been acquired or are being acquired jointly have,—

(A) either, in India, the assets of the value of more than rupees one thousand crores or turnover more than rupees three thousand crores; or

(B) in India or outside India, in aggregate, the assets of the value of more than five hundred million US dollars, including at least rupees five hundred crores in India, or turnover more than fifteen hundred million US dollars, including at least rupees fifteen hundred crores in India; or

(ii) the group, to which the enterprise whose control, shares, assets or voting rights have been acquired or are being acquired, would belong after the acquisition, jointly have or would jointly have,—

(A) either in India, the assets of the value of more than rupees four thousand crores or turnover more than rupees twelve thousand crores; or

(B) in India or outside India, in aggregate, the assets of the value of more than two billion US dollars, including at least rupees five hundred crores in India, or turnover more than six billion US dollars, including at least rupees fifteen hundred crores in India; or

(b) acquiring of control by a person over an enterprise when such person has already direct or indirect control over another enterprise engaged in production, distribution or trading of a similar or identical or substitutable goods or provision of a similar or identical or substitutable service, if—

(i) the enterprise over which control has been acquired along with the enterprise over which the acquirer already has direct or indirect control jointly have,—

(A) either in India, the assets of the value of more than rupees one thousand crores or turnover more than rupees three thousand crores; or

(B) in India or outside India, in aggregate, the assets of the value of more than five hundred million US dollars, including at least rupees five hundred crores in India, or turnover more than fifteen hundred million US dollars, including at least rupees fifteen hundred crores in India; or

(ii) the group, to which enterprise whose control has been acquired, or is being acquired, would belong after the acquisition, jointly have or would jointly have,—

(A) either in India, the assets of the value of more than rupees four thousand crores or turnover more than rupees twelve thousand crores or

(B) in India or outside India, in aggregate, the assets of the value of more than two billion US dollars, including at least rupees five hundred crores in India, or turnover more than six billion US dollars, including at least rupees fifteen hundred crores in India; or

(c) any merger or amalgamation in which—

(i) the enterprise remaining after merger or the enterprise created as a result of the amalgamation, as the case may be, have,—

(A) either in India, the assets of the value of more than rupees one thou sand crores or turnover more than rupees three thousand crores; or

(B) in India or outside India, in aggregate, the assets of the value of more than five hundred million US dollars, including at least rupees five hundred crores in India, or turnover more than fifteen hundred million US dollars, including at least rupees fifteen hundred crores in India; or

(ii) the group, to which the enterprise remaining after the merger or the enter prise created as a result of the amalgamation, would belong after the merger or the amalgamation, as the case may be, have or would have,—

(A) either in India, the assets of the value of more than rupees four-thousand crores or turnover more than rupees twelve thousand crores; or

(B) in India or outside India, in aggregate, the assets of the value of more than two billion US dollars, including at least rupees five hundred crores in India, or turnover more than six billion US dollars, including at least rupees Fifteen Hundred Crores in India.

Explanation.— For the purposes of this section,—

(a) “control” includes controlling the affairs or management by—

(i) one or more enterprises, either jointly or singly, over another enterprise or group;

(ii) one or more groups, either jointly or singly, over another group or enterprise;

(b) “group” means two or more enterprises which, directly or indirectly, are in a position to:

(i) exercise twenty-six per cent or more of the voting rights in the other enterprise; or

(ii) appoint more than fifty per cent of the members of the board of directors in the other enterprise; or

(iii) control the management or affairs of the other enterprise;

(c) the value of assets shall be determined by taking the book value of the assets as shown, in the audited books of account of the enterprise, in the financial year immediately preceding the financial year in which the date of proposed merger falls, as reduced by any depreciation, and the value of assets shall include the brand value, value of goodwill, or value of copyright, patent, permitted use, collective mark, registered proprietor, registered trade mark, registered user, homonymous geographical indication, geographical indications, design or layout- design or similar other commercial rights, if any, referred to in sub-section (5) of section 3.

Regulation of combinations

  1. (1) No person or enterprise shall enter into a combination which causes or is likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition within the relevant market in India and such a combination shall be void.

(2) Subject to the provisions contained in sub-section (1), any person or enterprise, who or which proposes to enter into a combination, shall give notice to the Commission, in the form as may be specified, and the fee which may be determined, by regulations, disclosing the details of the proposed combination, within thirty days of—

(a) approval of the proposal relating to merger or amalgamation, referred to in clause (c) of section 5, by the board of directors of the enterprises concerned with such merger or amalgamation, as the case may be;

(b) execution of any agreement or other document for acquisition referred to in clause (a) of section 5 or acquiring of control referred to in clause(b) of that section.

(2A)No combination shall come into effect until two hundred and ten days have passed from the day on which the notice has been given to the Commission under sub-section(2) or the Commission has passed orders under section 31, whichever is earlier.

(3) The Commission shall, after receipt of notice under sub-section (2), deal with such notice in accordance with the provisions contained in sections 29, 30 and 31.

(4) The provisions of this section shall not apply to share subscription or financing facility or any acquisition, by a public financial institution, foreign institutional investor, bank or venture capital fund, pursuant to any covenant of a loan agreement or investment agreement.

(5) The public financial institution, foreign institutional investor, bank or venture capital fund, referred to in sub-section (4), shall, within seven days from the date of the acquisition, file, in the form as may be specified by regulations, with the Commission the details of the acquisition including the details of control, the circumstances for exercise of such control and the consequences of default arising out of such loan agreement or investment agreement, as the case may be.

Explanation.—For the purposes of this section, the expression—

(a) “foreign institutional investor” has the same meaning as assigned to it in clause (a) of the Explanation to section 115AD of the Income-tax Act, 1961(43 of 1961);

(b) “venture capital fund” has the same meaning as assigned to it in (23 FB) of section 10 of the Income-tax Act, 1961(43 of 1961).

So Regional Rural Banks are exempted from provisions of sections 5 (combinations) and 6 (regulation of combinations) of the Competition Act, 2002 for a period of five years from 10th August, 2017.

 

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