Government may look at amending Companies Act if needed: Nirmala Sitharaman

NEW DELHI: Amendments to the Companies Act would be considered only if statutory orders and changes to rules do not address the practical difficulties in implementing the legislation, the Government said today. 

Stakeholders, including industry chambers, have raised concerns over various provisions of the new legislation and the Corporate Affairs Ministry has also held discussions with them to address the concerns. 

In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman said the Companies Act 2013 has been enacted only last year and so far a little more than half of its provisions have come into force. 

"Matters arising from the operation of provisions already brought in force are getting attention of the government in the form of issue of circulars, suitable statutory orders and amendments in Rules to remove doubts or practical difficulties; amendments in the Act would be considered in case the above measures prove insufficient," she said. 

The Minister was responding to a query on whether the government was considering amendments to the Companies Act. 

Many provisions of the Companies Act, 2013 -- that replaces the nearly six-decades old legislation -- came into force from April 1. 

In reply to another question, Sitharaman said that Section 462 of the Act envisages relaxations in the form of not applying some provisions or applying them with exceptions or modification to specific class/classes of companies. 

"Before grant of such relaxation, draft notifications have to be laid before each House of Parliament. Preparation of such notification is under active consideration," she said. 

According to the Minister, the Ministry is concerned with the administration of Companies Act and rules which contain essential elements of corporate governance. 

She also said that improvement of governing system is a continuous process.