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Rajya Sabha approves changes in Companies Act to improve biz climate

Rajya Sabha on Wednesday approved a bill to amend the Companies Act with an aim of promoting ease of doing business with as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley saying the law will be reviewed further by an expert committee to be set up shortly to see where the “shoe pinches”.

As many as 16 amendments were made to the Companies Act of 2013 which mainly deal with winding up of companies, board resolutions, bail provisions and utilisation of unclaimed dividends to bring the law in tune with the global standards.

Replying to a brief discussion on the Companies (Amendment) Bill 2014 which was passed by voice vote, Jaitley said the amendments were necessitated as there have been complaints from the corporates about the problems ever since the law was enacted in 2013.

Observing that the existing law had some stringent and difficult provisions, he said the amendments were aimed at simplifying bail provisions.

Now, “except in various issues of serious frauds, normal CrPC provisions” would apply, Jaitley said.

Contending that 16 amendments were not enough to cover everything, the Minister said that “a broad-based committee will continue to go into this question for the next few months as to where the shoe pinches …And this may not be the last amendments which we are bringing in.”

The expert committee comprising representatives of bodies of company secretaries, chartered accountants, industry chambers and officials will look into the discrepancies and suggest changes, he said.

Talking about the problems faced by the corporates, he said the onerous provisions were dissuading entrepreneurs to incorporate companies and prompting them to set up Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) firms for carrying out business.

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