To meet requirements of the modern world of businesses and professions, the new Companies Act of 2013 has been promulgated in India, after receiving the assent of the President of India on 29th August 2013. Since 1st April 2014, a total of 184 Sections of this companies act 2013 have been brought into effect. This new companies law act 2013 introduces many new things and provisions, along with making modifications in certain existing rules and provisions, in order to make the company law appropriately suitable to the modern requirements of businesses and professions in various economic fields. The most significant and influential changes and innovations introduced in the Indian Companies Act of 2013 are listed separately in the paragraphs below. Here, it may be noted that, the former Companies Act of 1956 had undergone at least 25 companies act amendments in the past 57 years, and many of its pivotal and highly significant rules and provisions had gone outdated or were inadequate.Replacing a nearly six-decade old legislation on the establishment, management, regulation, and dissolution of companies in India, the new Companies Act of 2013 consists of 29 Chapters, 470 Sections, and 7 Schedules; as compared to 658 Sections and 14 Schedules in the former Indian Companies Act of 1956. Obviously, the main and ultimate objective of the Companies Act of 2013 is to improve the ways business and professional entities are formed and registered, operated and managed, regulated and governed, and dissolved in entire India. In this connection, the most notable features presented by this new company law of India are provisions for one person companies, corporate social responsibility, participation of women in the corporate world, faster processes and e-governance, greater transparency in corporate governance, easy and fast mergers, empowerment and welfare of investors and shareholders, etc. Some of the other highly significant things provided in this new Companies Act of India, are the following:
- Along with introducing One Person Company (OPC), separate regimes for the Small Company and the Dormant Company are also introduced.
- The Private Limited companies now can have a maximum of 200 shareholders (increased from 50); and the General Partnership Firms now can appointment up to 100 partners (extended from 20).
- Instructions about inclusion of woman directors, independent directors, duties of directors, etc.
- Provision for entrenchment in the Articles of Association
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
- Improved e-Governance
- Rotation of auditors in every five-year periods
- Provisions regarding empowerment, welfare, safety, and supremacy of the shareholders and investors
- Easy and fast mergers
- And, establishment of the National Company Law Tribunal and the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, in place of Company Law Board (CLB), and the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction, to expedite justice.
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