Economy

Govt to set up expert panel on Companies Act next week: Jaitley

PTI New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on May 16, 2015

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley (file photo)

After making a slew of amendments to the ‘complicated’ Companies Act, the Government will constitute an expert committee next week to suggest further changes to make it easier to do business.

“There were 50-odd provisions (in the Companies Act, 2013) which were very hurting...I will be constituting a committee...may be in the course of next week,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told PTI in an interview.

He said the Government might go in for “another round” of amendments depending on the suggestions received from the committee, which will interact with stakeholders on further easing of rules.

The Companies Act, 2013, has more than 450 clauses and several of them had complicated doing of business, he said, adding “you are feeling the pinch after its being implemented.”

The Government earlier this week effected 16 amendments in the Companies Act with a view to streamlining procedures and removing some of the provisions with regard to denial of bail for violation of those provisions.

He said there was one provision in this Act, which had similar conditions for bail in a corporate crime as in the now-defunct Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).

Under POTA, bail was virtually impossible unless the public prosecutor conceded that there was no case or the judge came to the conclusion that there was no case made, he said.

While POTA was replaced by the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act with harsh bail provisions dropped, the same was brought in the Companies Act, he said.

Bail provision “considered too harsh for an anti-terrorism law, word for word, full-stop for full-stop was brought into the Companies Act,” he said, adding he got the provision removed from the Act through the recent amendments.

Jaitley said the worst offence in a corporate set-up could be extreme fraud such as the Satyam scam. There are several other offences where you pay penalty and get out, but you have “a bail provision in which you will never get bail”.

Published on May 16, 2015
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