The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) has said that two of its secretarial standards recommendations have been incorporated in the new Companies Bill and it expects more to be considered before finalisation.

The ICSI President, Mr Vinayak S. Khanvalkar, said that a core group formed by ICSI had come up with 10 secretarial standards recommendations required to keep pace with the changing patterns in the corporate world, particularly in the backdrop of globalisation.

“Of them, the new Companies Bill has already incorporated two relating to general and board meetings. We have recommended the Government to incorporate all the 10 suggestions,” he said here.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Khanvalkar said that the Institute is in the process of launching two post-membership qualification courses in the areas of Competition Law and Corporate Insolvency and Restructuring. Both these are evolving into much specialised streams requiring experts to guide companies.

Shoulder responsibilities

The new Company Bill equates the company secretaries with CEOs and the CFOs, expecting them to shoulder responsibilities in corporate restructuring, cross-border insolvencies, mergers and amalgamations, international tax planning and competition law.

This requires constant re-skilling, he said.

As part of the efforts to consolidate its presence and reach, the ICSI is emphasising strengthening regional councils and chapters to ensure both students and members receive quality services. With new Web-based learning approach, he said ICSI will enrol students from semi-urban and rural parts of the country.

There are 25,000 company secretaries, of them around 4,000 are in independent practice.

There is demand for significantly higher number of company secretaries and the ICSI is reaching out to various parts of the country with this message. Currently, 150,000 students are enrolled for the course, he said.

The Chairman of Hyderabad Chapter of ICSI, Mr Rajnish C. Popat, said that they plan to set up a centre of excellence in Hyderabad, their second in the country after the one at Mumbai. The Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation Ltd (APIIC) has allotted 1.26 acre site for the centre.

“The Institute is in the process of entering into collaborations in India and overseas. We have developed new specialised courses for independent directors in the backdrop of the mega Satyam (NYSE:SAY) Computer fraud. There was no negligence on the part of company secretaries in Satyam, according to a committee formed by the Institute,” he said.

The ICSI is keen to partner and help small and medium enterprises to meet new business challenges, he said.


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June 2021