Govt approves 72 amendments to Companies Act to decriminalise offences: FM

FILE PIC: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (L) and MoS Finance Anurag Thakur | PTI photo

The government on Wednesday cleared more amendments to the companies law, including decriminalising various offences.

As many as 72 changes to the Companies Act 2013 have been approved by the Cabinet.

Briefing reporters, Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the priority is to "decriminalise" provisions in the Act.

Sitharaman, who is also the Finance Minister, said the Cabinet has approved 72 changes to the Act.

As many as 23 offences would be recategorised out of 66 compoundable offences under the Act. Besides, seven compoundable offences would be omitted, she said.

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

She also said that companies having CSR obligation of less than Rs 50 lakh would not have to constitute a CSR committee.

These initiatives, Sitharaman said, are aimed at ease of doing business.

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 certain amount of money.

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