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Government extends company law settlement scheme till November 15
October, 18th 2014

The government today extended till November 15 a scheme that allows defaulting companies to make their statutory filings without attracting any prosecution.

Under 'Company Law Settlement Scheme 2014', the defaulter entities can make statutory filings for a period of two months without attracting any prosecution. The scheme, which started on August 15, was to end on October 15.

Following representations from various quarters, the Corporate Affairs Ministry has extended the scheme by another month.

"... this Ministry has, on consideration of requests received from various stakeholders, decided to extend the Company Law Settlement Scheme up to November 15, 2014," according to a circular issued today.

The new Companies Act, whose many provisions came into force from April 1, has stringent norms to deal with defaulting entities and even directors can be disqualified for failing to make necessary annual filings.

Various stakeholders, including the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), had sought extension of the scheme.

On extension of the scheme, ICAI President K Raghu said this one month period would be of immense help for members and corporate in filing their belated documents.

"Also, the defaulting companies which avail the scheme and file all belated documents, the provisions related to disqualification of directors u/s 164 (2) (a) shall apply only for prospective defaults, if any, by such companies," Raghu said in a statement.

At the end of August this year, there were about 1.42 lakh companies that have not filed their annual returns/ balance sheets for more than three consecutive years.

Last month, Corporate Affairs Secretary Naved Masood had said the scheme provides an opportunity to defaulting companies to "make good their default".

According to him, the Companies Act, 2013 lays down stricter regime for companies defaulting in filing statutory returns, with higher additional fees and penalties.

"The scheme condones delays in late filing, by granting immunity from prosecution and reduced additional fee," he had said.

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