Companies Bill to come up in Rajya Sabha in budget session

Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot today said the government is confident of getting the new Companies Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha in the Budget session.

"The new Companies Bill will come up in the Rajya Sabha in the Budget session beginning February 21," Pilot said on the sidelines of the Nasscom national summit here.

Noting that since the enactment of the Companies Bill in 1956, the number of registered companies has gone up to 8.5 lakh, Pilot said the new Bill aims to address transformations that have taken place in the last few years such as the emergence of e-commerce companies.

Pointing out that there are e-commerce companies that do business here but may be present outside or have no physical presence here at all, he said, adding the law needs to look at such companies.

Referring to the poor ranking of the country at 132 in the World Bank's list of 185 countries in terms of ease of doing business, Pilot said the ministry has appointed a commission to look into this.

"I don't think we are doing justice by getting India go down in terms of such indices. I hope our ranking will improve in the next few years," he said.

On the mandatory 2 per cent of net profit being spent on corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects, Pilot said the ministry is working on a database that will have details of worthy projects, NGOs and best practises followed in different states, which the companies can refer to while deciding on their strategy.

The ministry is also working on a template to be posted on its website that will require companies to clearly spell out what CSR projects they have undertaken, how much they have spent on this and what tangible benefit has arisen from it, the minister said.

Stating that government is not trying to dictate terms of doing business to private companies, Pilot said the government will adopt a "hands-off approach" and companies would have to self-report and self-comply on their CSR activities.

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