Providing relief to companies amid the coronavirus pandemic-induced disruptions, the government has extended the duration of "several schemes" till December 31, including the fresh start scheme. The corporate affairs ministry has extended the Companies Fresh Start Scheme and the LLP Settlement Scheme, besides allowing companies to conduct EGMs (extraordinary general meetings) and board meetings through video conference or other audio-visual means till end of this year.
Further, the scheme for relaxation of time for filing forms related to creation or modification of charges under the Companies Act, 2013 as well as the deadline for independent directors to register themselves on a data bank for them has been extended. The earlier deadlines were to end on September 30.
In a series of tweets, Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's office said the corporate affairs ministry has "extended the duration of several schemes till 31.12.2020 in view of the continued disruption caused due to the COVID-19 pandemic in certain parts of the country and to provide greater Ease of Doing Business". The Companies Fresh Start Scheme as well as the LLP Settlement Scheme - which began from April 1 - are aimed at enabling companies to make good on their previous defaults.
Under the schemes, entities are allowed to submit filings without late fee and also get immunity from penal proceedings with respect to delay in submission of requisite filings. Independent directors are required to register themselves on the independent directors' data bank maintained by the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA), which comes under the corporate affairs ministry.
The ministry is implementing the Companies Act and LLP Act, among other activities.