In a media statement on Wednesday (September 18), the Ministry of Corporate Affairs announced the setting up of a company law committee. This committee has been set up for examining and making recommendations to the government on various provisions and issues pertaining to the implementation of the Companies Act, 2013 and the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008.
The committee has been set up in line with the government’s objective of providing ease of doing business to law-abiding corporates, fostering improved corporate compliance for stakeholders at large and also to address emerging issues having an impact on the working of corporates in the country.
The company law committee will be chaired by Injeti Srinivas, secretary of the Corporate Affairs Ministry. It will look into key issues including the introduction of a settlement mechanism for offences under the companies act as well as de-clogging the National Company Law Tribunals and measure to improve the functioning of statutory bodies under the Companies Act including the Serious Frauds Investigations Office (SFIO), The Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority (IEPFA) and the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA).
It is to be noted that the government had recategorized 13 offences under the Companies act as civil offences through an amendment passed in the budget session of Parliament.
The committee will submit its recommendations in phases and subject-wise to the government. The committee will initially have a tenure of one year from the date of its first meeting.
India has gained recognition as one of the top 10 performers in terms of ease of doing business over the last two years, with a jump of 53 places from 2016 to 2018 – the highest improvement by any country since 2011. India is eyeing a top-50 spot in World Bank’s Doing Business Report in 2019 after rising 23 places to hit the 77th spot in 2018.
The reforms being planned include an easier process for filing Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns, increase in the rate of recovery under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016, a colour-coded dashboard to track customs clearances in real-time, a drive-through scanner that scans 100 containers per hour as compared to 8-10 containers earlier, and the elimination of incorporation fees for businesses with authorised capital of up to INR 15 lakhs.