Companies Amendment Bill 2020 introduced in Lok Sabha

Economic Times, March  18, 2020

NEW DELHI: The government Tuesday introduced a bill in Lok Sabha to amend the Companies Act proposing 72 changes to removing criminality from host of offences under the act and paving the way for direct overseas listing of Indian companies.

Minister of state for finance Anurag Thakur introduced the Bill, saying the government was committed towards “ease of doing ethical business and ease of doing honest business”. The Bill proposed 72 changes to the Companies Act, 2013. Almost 23 offences would be recategorised out of 66 compoundable offences under the Act, to be dealt with an in-house adjudication framework. Besides, seven compoundable offences would be omitted.

While introducing the Bill, Thakur said the proposed decriminalisation was only for “minor procedural and technical defaults which do not involve fraud, injury to the public interest or non-compoundable offences”. The proposed amendments also include enabling provisions for the direct listing of securities of Indian public companies in permissible foreign jurisdictions.

The Bill also seeks to exempt companies whose corporate social responsibility (CSR) obligation is below ₹50 lakh from constituting a CSR committee. Additionally, the exemption provided to key managerial posts from government restrictions on compensation in case a company is facing liquidation, was expanded to include independent directors.

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