Govt sets up panel to suggest changes to Companies Act

Continuing efforts to improve the ease of doing business in the country, the government has set up an eight-member panel to address issues related to the new companies law and suggest necessary changes.

The Corporate Affairs Ministry has already made a raft of changes to the Companies Act, 2013 -- whose most provisions came into effect from April 1, 2014 -- amid concerns raised from various stakeholders.

The 'Companies Law Committee', chaired by Corporate Affairs Secretary Anjuly Chib Duggal, would submit its recommendations "within six months of its first meeting".

There are also representatives from the judiciary and industry in the eight-member panel, according to an order issued by the Ministry on Thursday.

Former Delhi High Court judge Reva Khetarpal, Tata Sons Chief Legal and Group General Counsel Bharat Vasani, L&T Finance Holdings Chairman Y M Deosthalee as well as Presidents of apex bodies -- chartered accountants, cost accountants and company secretaries would be part of the committee.

The three members are Institute of Chartered Accountants of India' (ICAI) Manoj Fadnis, Institute of Cost Accountants of India's (ICAI) A S Durga Prasad and Institute of Company Secretaries of India's (ICSI) Atul H Mehta.

Besides, Joint Secretary (Policy) at the Ministry would be member-convener.

As per the terms of reference, the panel would "make recommendations to the government on issues arising from the implementation of the Companies Act, 2013".

It would also examine the recommendations received from the Bankruptcy Law Reforms committee, Committee on CSR, Law Commission and other agencies.

Last month, the government had said it would set up a committee to look into further modifications required in the Companies Act, 2013.

Recently, some amendments to the Act were notified by the government.

While carrying out its work, the Companies Law Committee can also invite subject matter experts as well as people from Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) as needed.

In the interest of broad-based consultation, any other person or body can also be invited by the panel, the order said.

Secretarial support for the new panel would be provided by the Ministry, which is implementing the Act.

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