Policy

Restored companies: MCA frames scheme for additional fees waiver on delayed filing of e-forms

K.R.Srivats New Delhi | Updated on January 18, 2021

Based on the rule, the President retires these officials with immediate effect from the afternoon of June 11. (File photo)   -  Getty images/istock.com

Move to benefit only those struck-off companies whose names were restored by NCLT in December 2020

Corporate Affairs Ministry (MCA) has come out with a new scheme to accept the delay in filing of e-forms for companies whose names were restored by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) during December 1-31, 2020. Consequently, all additional fees payable for delayed filing of any overdue e-forms under the new scheme will be waived, MCA has said.

It may be recalled that the government had during financial years 2017-18 and 2018-19 struck off more than 3.38 lakh companies from official records for failing to submit annual returns.

Thousands of companies are expected to benefit from this new scheme which goes by the title “Scheme for condonation of delay for companies restored on the Register of Companies between December 1, 2020 and December 31,2020, under section 252 of Companies Act 2013”.

Put simply, this scheme will provide waiver of additional fees on any overdue filings of e-forms with the Registrar of Companies, company law experts said. The last date for filing of any overdue e-forms will be March 31, 2021, the MCA has said. This new scheme comes into effect from February 1. Only normal filing fees will be charged and no additional fees would apply for the forms.

The MCA has also now highlighted that the Companies Fresh Start Scheme 2020 that came into effect in March 2020 and extended in September 2020 is no longer applicable for various filings done under the provisions of the Companies Act 2013.

Harish Kumar, Partner, L&L Partners, said :”Amidst the Industry representation for extension of Companies Fresh Start Scheme (CFSS) for all companies in general, MCA has granted a limited relief to those struck-off companies which have been restored by NCLT in the month of December 2020. However, this would not absolve such companies and their directors/officers from prescribed penalty which may otherwise be invoked by MCA for such delayed filings with normal fee. Needless to say, other non compliant companies would now have to bear the additional fees for delay in filings which may be followed by MCA invoking prescribed penalties against such companies”.

Manish Gupta, Partner, IndusLaw, said this is an emphatic move by the MCA as they acknowledged that the companies who went into appeal against the striking-off order could not avail the benefits under CFSS 2020. Though the scope of the circular is limited it will still benefit many companies who were vigilant and intended to take benefit of CFSS 2020 but could not, on account of the appeal against strike-off order being pending before NCLT.

Aseem Chawla, Managing Partner, ASC Legal, said that the condonation scheme provides for a limited dispensation for companies restored in the month of December 2020. “The condonation provides waiver from additional filing fees in respect of forms identified and the applicable normal fee would be payable. Hopefully this puts a graceful conclusion to the episode of striking off of Companies and their subsequent restoration", he said.

Published on January 18, 2021

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