Introduction of Amnesty Scheme and on-line system for compliances/ registration of documents with the office of the Registrar of Firms, Maharashtra, Mumbai

No. 1-CA(RepCom) /2009,  Dated : June 1, 2009

The Principal Secretary, Law & Judiciary Department, Government of Maharashtra, 3rd floor, Mantralaya Main Building, Mantralaya, Mumbai – 400 032.

Dear Sir

Sub.:Introduction of Amnesty Scheme and on-line system for compliances/ registration of documents with the office of the Registrar of Firms, Maharashtra, Mumbai

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is a statutory body established by the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 (Act No. XXXVIII of 1949) for regulation of the profession of Chartered Accountants in India. During its six decades of existence, ICAI has achieved recognition as a premier accounting body not only in the country but also globally, for its contribution in the fields of education, professional development, maintenance of high accounting, auditing, ethical standards. ICAI now is the second largest accounting body in the world.

We are given to understand by our members from Mumbai that they are facing a lot of hardship with the functioning of the office of Registrar of Firms. A large number of our members practice as partnership firms and they also serve their clients, who are partnership firms.

As you are aware, the partnership firms are governed by the Law of Partnership enacted in the Indian Partnership Act, 1932. In accordance with the said Act, registration of partnership firm, though not compulsory, non-registration suffers from the impediments of Section 69 of the said Act. It is, therefore, desired that to circumvent the ‘ill effects’ of Section 69, every partnership firm should be registered, to enjoy commercial and business advantage.

Though the procedures, forms and formalities including deeds and documents are very simple with reference to various compliances procedures and formalities, yet, we are given to understand that the functioning and practices at the office of ROF are complex and complicated resulting in many partnership firms continuing to be “un-registered” or the changes in constitution, in address and other matters remain un-updated.

We are told that the officials at ROF function in a bureaucratic style, and are perceived to be not-so-customer friendly. Though a regulatory body requires to be formality-oriented, but it seems the officials at ROF discourage compliances by raising queries on documents time and again, and do not settle all their queries in one go. The payment of fees at every stage and for every default is another reason why the firms do not come forward for registration of documents/changes. The net result is the firm remains unregistered or the documents remain un-updated. This not only results in avoidable hardship to the firms concerned, but also results in loss of revenue to the Government.

In this backdrop, it is suggested as follows: –

· That an “Amnesty Scheme” be introduced, so that all the existing partnership firms can regularise the defective deeds and documents, forms and formalities and registration, if left mid-way including updating data and records. This will encourage the firms to come forward for completion of formalities and also will result in revenue generation for the Department.

· That, an e-compliance module including online facilities be introduced to make deeds and documents, forms and formalities very simple, easy and user compliance friendly.

· That all existing partnership firms who wish to opt for conversion, as an LLP under the new LLP Law, should be allowed easy convertibility without any insistence of ROF registrations or updations of deeds and documents, forms and formalities.

In case you need any assistance or support, the Institute shall be very happy to provide the same.

I hope the above representation will get your serious attention.

Thanking you

Yours faithfully

CA. UTTAM PRAKASH AGARWAL

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