The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2017 is passed by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on 27th July 2017 and 19th December, 2017 respectively. It shall come into force on getting the President’s assent. This is second Amendment Bill passed by the Parliament after notification of the Companies Act, 2013 i.e. within a span of 40 months. The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2017 suggests 93 amendments to the Companies Act, 2013.
The major amendments proposed in the Companies Amendment Bill, 2017 include clarity on definitions for identifying Associate Companies, Holding & Subsidiary Companies, Related Parties etc;, simplification of the private placement procedure, removal of requirement for annual ratification of auditor, rationalization of provisions related to loan to directors, and doing away with the requirement of approval of the Central Government for managerial remuneration above prescribed Limits.
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A. Incorporation of Company:
At the time of incorporation of the company, declaration by each subscriber will be required to be attached instead of an affidavit, as currently provided.
B. Register Office:
The company shall within 30 days of its incorporation have registered office instead of current requirement to have registered office on and from the fifteenth day of its incorporation.
C. Authentication of Document:
The change permits Board to authorise any employee of the company for authentication of documents, proceedings and contracts of the company
D. Private Placement:
The entire Section 42 has been substituted by the Amendment Bill, 2017. We will discuss in detail in another write up. Please find below the major changes:
E. Issue of Shares at Discount:
Issuance of shares at discount allowed, subject to the same is issued to creditors when debt is converted into shares in the prescribed manner.
F. Issue of Sweat Equity Shares:
It is allowed issue of sweat equity shares at any time after registration of the Company.
G. Right Issue of Shares:
The change in the provision relates to the mode of sending the notice for rights offer. Section 62(2) has been relaxed to include courier or other modes of delivery capable of providing proof of deliver
H. Statutory Auditor:
I. Provisions of Loan & Guarantee:
Section 185 has been completely re-written under the Companies Amendment Bill, 2017. This Section limits the prohibition on loans, advances, etc., to any person in which any of the director is interested in.
Under the 2017 Bill, It has been proposed to allow companies to give loan’s or guarantee’s or provide security to any person in whom any of the director is interested in subject to passing of special resolution by the company and utilisation of loans by the borrower for its principal business activities.
J. Managerial remuneration: The requirement of obtaining approval of Central Govt. for payment of managerial remuneration in excess of prescribed limits of Schedule V done away with instead of CG approval required the approval of Share holders by passing of Special Resolution. However, for making such payments prior approval of bank or public financial institution or non-convertible debenture holder or secured creditor is also required before taking approval from shareholders.
K. Presence through video Conferencing:
Where there is quorum in a meeting through physical presence of directors, any other director may participate through video conferencing or other audio visual means in such meeting on any matter specified under the first proviso (i.e. restricted matters).
L. Annual General Meeting:
Annual General Meeting (‘AGM’) of unlisted company may be held at any place in India if consent is given in writing or by electronic mode by all the members in advance.
M. Extra- Ordinary General Meeting:
Extraordinary General Meeting (‘EGM’) of wholly owned subsidiary of a company incorporated outside India can be held outside India. The same is of no relevance for companies which are WOS of company incorporated in India
N. Annual Return:
O. Abridged Board Report for OPC and Small Company: The Central Government is empowered to prescribe an abridged Board’s Report for One Person Company and Small Company
P. Extract of Annual Return (Form MGT-9): Form MGT-9 now does not have to be accompanied with the Board’s report and instead a link to the annual return hosted on the website shall be provided in the Board’s report.
(Author – CS Divesh Goyal, GOYAL DIVESH & ASSOCIATES Company Secretary in Practice from Delhi and can be contacted at [email protected]). Disclaimer: The entire contents of this document have been prepared on the basis of relevant provisions and as per the information existing at the time of the preparation. Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, I assume no responsibility therefore. Users of this information are expected to refer to the relevant existing provisions of applicable Laws. The user of the information agrees that the information is not a professional advice and is subject to change without notice. I assume no responsibility for the consequences of use of such information. IN NO EVENT SHALL I SHALL BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGE RESULTING FROM, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OF THE INFORMATION