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Centre clears 72 changes to Companies Act, 2013

Centre clears 72 changes   to Companies Act, 2013

New Delhi: The Centre cleared as many as 72 changes to the Companies Act 2013 Wednesday, including decriminalising various offences. Addressing reporters after a cabinet committee meeting, Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the priority is to "decriminalise" provisions in the Act.

As many as 23 offences would be recategorised out of 66 compoundable offences under the new amended act. Besides, seven compoundable offences would be omitted, Sitharaman said.

She further said that the government would remove provisions of imprisonment in various sections and also reduce penalties in case of various compoundable offences.

Sitharaman added that those companies which have CSR obligation of less than Rs 50 lakh would not have to constitute a CSR committee. These initiatives, she said, are aimed at ease of doing business.

The latest move by the government comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised that his government is working to decriminalise provision of Companies Act to make it easier to do business in the country.

In November, a government-appointed high-level panel proposed decriminalising more than half of the existing compoundable offences under the companies law as well as lower monetary penalties for violations by startups, amid efforts to further improve the ease of doing business in the country.

Generally, compoundable offences are those which can be settled by paying a certain amount of money.

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