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Ministry of Co Affairs is now Ministry of Corporate Affairs
May, 18th 2007
It is engaged in complete revamp of legal framework

"The new name not merely reflects a change in the form but also in the vision and approach that drives the initiatives of the Ministry."

From being a Department of Company Affairs to a full-fledged Ministry of Company Affairs and now to a Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The Ministry has, during the last three years, re-oriented itself to meet the expectations of a vibrant corporate sector in its march towards the globally competitive environment, an official release said here today.

During the tenure of earlier Governments at the Centre, Company Affairs was just a department, which used to, off and on, be under either the Finance Ministry or the Law Ministry.

Legal Framework

Things changed with arrival of Mr Prem Chand Gupta of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). Given the RJD's crucial support to the present Government, it was natural that Mr Gupta would not be given charge of just an ordinary department.

Thus, the Ministry of Company Affairs was born and Mr Gupta made its Minister of State with Independent Charge. Subsequently, he was elevated to Cabinet rank. And from Ministry of Company Affairs it has now been renamed as Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

"The new name not merely reflects a change in the form but also in the vision and approach that drives the initiatives of the Ministry," said Mr Gupta. The Ministry is engaged in a complete revamp of the legal framework for the corporate sector like the Limited Liability Partnerships Bill, which will provide a significant boost to the growth of professional and knowledge domain in the country in an organised form.

Comprehensive Revision

Similarly, amendments to the Competition Act, 2002 are at advanced stages of processing to enable operationalisation of a full-fledged Competition Commission of India.

The Companies Act, 1956 is itself under a comprehensive revision. Having followed the process of wide consultation with the stakeholders and examination of the proposals by an Expert Group headed by Dr J.J. Irani, the draft for the new Company Law is at the vetting stage.

"We can understand the anxiety of the corporate world who have been waiting for this new law but it has to be appreciated that the Companies Act, 1956 is the single largest piece of legislation and it takes time to re-write a piece of legislation which is envisaged to be not only simple and easy to understand but also forward-looking in keeping with the dynamic process of change in an international environment," explained the Minister.

Corporate Governance

Corporate governance and investor protection are also priority areas. The Ministry has redefined its vision and proposes to work towards taking the corporate governance to a level that enables India to compete with the developed economies with simultaneous focus on creating investor awareness and the need for adoption of Corporate Social Responsibility as a part of the enlightened good corporate governance practices.

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