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Lok Sabha passes Companies (Amendment) Bill

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Lok Sabha on Friday passed the Companies( Amendment) Bill, 2018 that seeks to improve ease of doing business, declog the NCLT and prescribe strong action against non-compliant companies.

The bill was passed with a voice vote with amendments moved by the Minister of State for Corporate Affairs P P Chaudhary.

The bill has been brought with a view to declog the Special Courts and National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Chaudhary said.

It will also reduce the burden on NCLT and Special Courts and improve ease of doing business in the country, the Minister added.

Participating in the discussion, Tathagata Satpathy (BJD) said that the Modi government in its four-and-a-half years period is only focusing on issues related to business class.

“Why the government was in hurry to bring Companies( Amendment) Bill, 2018? Whose interest the government wants to serve? Is it good for the country, is it good for the poor class,” Satpathy asked.

“What are the business interests which prompted this government to bring this ordinance,” he added.

BB Patil (TRS) also participated in the discussion and supported the Companies( Amendment) Bill.

The government last year had promulgated an ordinance to amend the companies law.

The Corporate Affairs Ministry, which is implementing the Act, has been looking at ways to promote ease of doing business as well as to ensure better compliance levels.

In August last year, a government-appointed panel suggested various changes to the Act, including restructuring of corporate offences under the companies law and an in-house adjudication mechanism to ensure that courts get more time to deal with serious violations.

Apart from restructuring of corporate offences to relieve special courts from adjudicating routine offences, the panel has mooted “re-categorisation of 16 out of the 81 compoundable offences” under the Act.

The committee had also recommended disqualification of directors in case they have directorships beyond permissible limits and capping an independent director’s remuneration.

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