The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was passed by Parliament
Key amendments to the Companies Act, 2013
- Changes to offences: The Bill makes three key changes.
- First, it moves 23 compoundable offences to in-house adjudication where penalties will be levied instead of imposing fines/imprisonment (e.g., for non-maintenance of registers).
- Second, 11 offences are being amended to restrict punishment to fines only and to remove imprisonment (e.g., for noncompliance with provisions related to foreign companies).
- Third, seven offences are being omitted (e.g., for non-compliance with certain orders of the National Company Law Tribunal).
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): The Bill exempts companies with a CSR liability of up to Rs 50 lakh a year from setting up CSR Committees. Further, companies which spend any amount in excess of their CSR obligation in a financial year can set off the excess amount towards their CSR obligations in subsequent financial years.
- The Bill empowers the central government to allow certain classes of public companies to list classes of securities (as may be prescribed) in foreign jurisdictions.
- The proposed bill also empowers the central government, in consultation with the Securities and Exchange Board of India, to exclude companies issuing specified classes of securities from the definition of a “listed company”
- Bill extends the remuneration to non-executive directors, including independent directors which was there only for executive directors
- The Bill seeks to establish benches of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal. These shall ordinarily sit in New Delhi or such other place as may be notified.