Policy

Govt keen to usher in reforms in third phase of MCA-21 project

KR Srivats New Delhi | Updated on April 07, 2019 Published on April 07, 2019

Injeti Srinivas, Secretary, Corporate Affairs Ministry

MCA-21 allows electronic filings of various documents under the Companies Act.

The Corporate Affairs Ministry will look to introduce Artificial Intelligence (AI) in MCA-21 when the third phase of the crucial portal is rolled out in the coming days, a top Government official said.

Injeti Srinivas, Secretary, Corporate Affairs Ministry, said: “We have a vision that we will have AI in MCA-21 in version 3.” He was speaking at a session on ‘Building Trust’ at the recent CII Annual Session 2019 in the Capital.

MCA-21 portal is the electronic backbone for dissemination of information to all stakeholders, including the regulator, corporates and investors.

While the first phase of the e-governance initiative of the Corporate Affairs Ministry was implemented by Tata Consultancy Services, the second phase is being implemented by Infosys for the period January 2013-July 2021.

MCA-21 allows electronic filings of various documents under the Companies Act. The portal also provides public access to corporate information. It has fully automated all processes related to enforcement and compliance of legal requirements under the Act.

Srinivas said the Ministry will look to rationalise all the forms, follow the principle of single source of truth so that one is not required to fill in known details again (as it will get filled automatically).

“We will also interlink databases — Income Tax Department, GSTN, RBI and FIU so that routine enforcement is done 24x7 on an autopilot basis. We (MCA) should be concerned with only major issues of violations. For all others, we would like to have an online adjudication system with penalties and liberal compounding system,” he said.

Srinivas also said the Government was contemplating introduction of deferred prosecution agreements and consent settlements.

Corporate governance

Srinivas urged India Inc to improve the level of corporate governance and match them to the best in the world. “That is the only way we can become a $10 trillion economy. We will have to establish strong credentials in corporate governance in terms of fairness, transparency, accountability and responsibility. That is the job of Corporate India,” he said.

On the Government’s part, Srinivas said the Centre is equally bound to put in place trust based non-discretionary regulatory environment with minimum human interface.

Srinivas rued that there has been a general decline in corporate governance standards in India. At the same time, he said India overall had a “positive story” line on the corporate governance front.

“About 70 per cent of companies are compliant — that is adequate critical mass for us to embark on higher trajectory of corporate governance,” he said.

Srinivas also said that building trust is the core issue of building governance, whether it is corporate governance or corporate regulation.

“If India has to occupy its rightful place in the world, we should start thinking like team India and acting like team India. if you have to act in unison, you should have strong level of trust. You cannot progress when there is trust deficit,” he said.

Published on April 07, 2019
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