Govt goes all out to be soft against India Inc
Continuing efforts to improve the ease of doing business in the country, the government has set up an eight-member panel to address issues related to the new companies law and suggest necessary changes. The Corporate Affairs Ministry has already made a raft of changes to the Companies Act, 2013 -- whose most provisions came into effect from April 1, 2014 -- amid concerns raised from various stakeholders.
The ‘Companies Law Committee’, chaired by Corporate Affairs Secretary <g data-gr-id="31">Anjuly</g> Chib Duggal, would submit its recommendations “within six months of its first meeting”. There are also representatives from the judiciary and industry in the eight-member panel, according to an order issued by the Ministry on Thursday. Former Delhi High Court judge Reva Khetarpal, Tata Sons Chief Legal and Group General Counsel Bharat Vasani, L&T Finance Holdings Chairman Y M Deosthalee as well as Presidents of apex bodies -- chartered accountants, cost accountants and company secretaries would be part of the committee. The three members are Institute of Chartered Accountants of India’ (ICAI) Manoj Fadnis, Institute of Cost Accountants of India’s (ICAI) <g data-gr-id="32">A S</g> Durga Prasad and Institute of Company Secretaries of India’s (ICSI) Atul H Mehta.
Besides, Joint Secretary (Policy) at the Ministry would be member-convener. As per the terms of reference, the panel would “make recommendations to the government on issues arising from the implementation of the Companies Act, 2013”. It would also examine the recommendations received from the Bankruptcy Law Reforms committee, Committee on CSR, Law Commission and other agencies.
Last month, the government had said it would set up a committee to look into further modifications required in the Companies Act, 2013. Recently, some amendments to the Act were notified by the government. While carrying out its work, the Companies Law Committee can also invite subject matter experts as well as people from Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) as needed.
In the interest of broad-based consultation, any other person or body can also be invited by the panel, the order said. Secretarial support for the new panel would be provided by the Ministry, which is implementing the Act.
... and harsh against labourers
Aimed at easing the existing labour rules, the government is in the process of converting 44 laws into four codes covering industrial relations, wages, social security and safety issues. “We got to ease our labour laws. We have got about 44 labour laws. And to expect a small business enterprise to take care of all these is a tall order. So, we are converting those 44 labour laws into 4 codes.
“One code is on industrial relations, one is on wages, <g data-gr-id="75">third</g> code is on social security and <g data-gr-id="76">fourth</g> is on safety. Two codes are almost ready, one on wage and one on industrial relations,” Labour Secretary Shankar Aggarwal said on Friday. Aggarwal was speaking as a chief guest during a seminar on ‘Compliance of Labour Legislations-Issues and Concern’ organised by industry <g data-gr-id="74">PHD</g> Chamber.
He said, by way of converting the 44 labour laws <g data-gr-id="73">in to</g> 4 codes, the government is trying to consolidate and simplify the laws <g data-gr-id="80">alongwith</g> taking care of workers’ safety. So, in order to bring a larger number of people and enterprises under Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS), the government is trying to bring coverage to every establishment employing ten or more people, down from the 20 now.
“On the compliance side, we are trying to dilute many more <g data-gr-id="84">compliances,</g> so that people need not be scared of these laws. Even in terms of hiring people, we are taking steps. We also have to ensure that every worker get a decent salary,” Aggarwal said. On job creation, he said India needs to create more jobs at every level to make our economic growth sustainable and sufficient. “Unfortunately in the last few years, in spite of all these growth of 9 per cent and plus (before 2008-09), the growth has mainly been a jobless growth.” He said the difference between rich and poor is growing up which is not sustainable for growth. And there is a need to create a mechanism or a policy which will ensure and encourage people to create more jobs.