The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has taken steps to provide several incentives, relaxation, or concession during the lockdown period to reduce the burden on companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) during COVID-19. Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister of State, Finance & Corporate Affairs, stated in a written response to the Lok Sabha recently.
The response stated that Companies Fresh Start Scheme (CFSS) 2020 is being introduced as stated in General Circular 12/2020. The circular in this regard was issued on March 30 this year to enable companies to file documents without additional fees, granting immunity from prosecutions proceeding, etc. Providing similar benefits as CFSS 2020 for the benefits of LLPs, the government is introducing LLP Settlement Scheme, 2020.
Some other provisions as stated in the response are:
- Special provisions for enabling the conduct of Board and General Meetings through Video conferences by corporates as per General Circular No 14/2020.
- Special provisions for filings under section 124 &125 r/w IEPFA (Accounting, Audit, Transfer and Refund) Rules 2016.
- Special relaxation in holding of General Meeting by companies whose financial year ended on December 31, 2019 based on General Circular issued on April 21, 2020 with the allowance of holding it through video conferencing as per General Circular No. 20/2020 and 28/2020.
- Allowing corporates for spending Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds for various activities which include healthcare, sanitation and disaster management.
A general extension of three months to hold Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the Financial year 2019-2020 beyond September 30, 2020 has been granted to about 12 lakh companies by issue of order by each ROC on September 8, 2020 without any requirement to file any application of the form and without payment of a fee.
Such efforts from the government are welcomed by the industry and will help industry stabilise by the time Covid 19 withers.
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