Events/developments to watch out in July -
What: Company secretaries as whistleblowers
When: July 1
What to look for: With the new Companies Act in place, company secretaries, like other statutory auditors, can now act as whistleblowers if they detect any fraud. The Institute of Company Secretaries of India President Atul Mehta said practising company secretaries will be mandatorily required to carry out the secretarial audit of companies whose paid-up capital is more than Rs 50 crore and a turnover exceeding Rs 250 crore. Companies will have to follow the secretarial standards and need to comply by July 1, 2015.
TRADE WITH ASEAN
What: India-Asean FTA
When: From July 1
Where: Kuala Lumpur
What to look for: The free trade pact in services and investment between India and the Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean) will come into effect in July. India and the Asean constitute a community of 1.8 billion people with a combined gross domestic product of $3.8 trillion. Trade between the bloc and India was estimated to be around $56 billion in 2012/13. Also, trade ministers of the 16-member Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Partnership, comprising 10 Asean members and its six FTA partners, including India, China, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand, are likely to meet in Kuala Lumpur in July to discuss regional economic integration.
RUSSIA WITH LOVE
What: PM Narendra Modi's visit to five Central Asian nations and Russia
When: July 8-9
What to look for: Modi's visit to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan is expected to help India tap into huge natural resources including hydrocarbons and uranium in the region. Strengthening ties with Central Asian nations is seen as key to offsetting China's influence in the region. The visit will coincide with Modi's maiden visit to Russia for the BRICS summit on July 8 and 9. The BRICS summit will be followed by the 15th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit at the same venue on July 9-10.
What: Digital India launch
What to look for: Digital India, with a budget of Rs 1.13 lakh crore, brings technology to the villages and block levels. It groups several existing and new schemes of department of electronics and information and technology under one roof. This is seen as a flagship programme of the NDA government.