Companies (Amendment) Bill introduced in Lok Sabha

The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley introduced Companies (Amendment) Bill 2018 in the Lok Sabha as part of the efforts to promote the ease of doing business in the country. This Bill–which will replace the ordinance issued by the Modi administration early November–seeks to provide relief to companies and professionals alike by decriminalizing a host of offences. It may be recalled that the ordinance had recategorised certain ‘acts’ which are punishable as compoundable offences to ‘acts’ carrying civil liabilities. Besides measures to de-clog National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), the ordinance had also ushered in corporate governance reforms including re-introduction of declaration of commencement of business provision; holding of directorships beyond permissible limits to trigger disqualification of such directors and non-maintenance of registered office to trigger re-registration process. Greater accountability was also brought to filing of documents relating to creation, modification and satisfaction of charges.

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