New Cos Bill to rule out 2nd Satyam episode: Khurshid

Last Updated: Thursday, September 2, 2010 - 20:07

Kolkata: The new Companies Bill, which is
likely to be tabled in the Winter Session of Parliament, will
contain provisions to rule out a recurrence of the Satyam
episode which shattered the confidence of India Inc, Minister
of State for Corporate Affairs Salman Khurshid said today.

"Handling of the Satyam case has given India a higher
standing in the world. Learning from Satyam will be reflected
in the Bill," Khurshid said at the National Convention of
Company Secretaries here today.

Asked later what provisions the Bill would include, he
said there would be greater accountability at different
levels, strengthening of the Serious Fraud Investigation
Office (SFIO) and investigating procedures and putting in
place an early warning system.

Khurshid also said the new Bill will contain measures to
fix responsibilities in case of criminal acts like the Bhopal
gas tragedy.

Khurshid said that even after 26 years, the Bhopal
dispute remained unresolved.

He said the ministry was concerned about the role of
promoter directors, CEOs and independent directors in case of
criminal acts.

The ministry has got good guidance from the Standing
Committee of Parliament, which will be incorporated in the
final draft of the Bill, he said.

"We are also waiting for the Supreme Court`s view on
liability for criminal acts," he said.

Khurshid said the government would see that regulations
were in place to bring about transparency in the running of
corporate houses.

"We do not want to enter the boardroom of corporates. But
they also should be mindful of their responsibilities. We will
be happy with little control," Khurshid said.

He said the Companies Bill has been in the pipeline for
the last seven or eight years.

The Bill is likely to be tabled in the Winter Session of
Parliament and positively by the end of the fiscal.

The final draft was getting prepared, he said.

About the voluntary guidelines which were issued by the
ministry, Khurshid said, "The government is toying with the
idea of what needs to be shifted to make it mandatory and what
to keep voluntary."

Ministry of Corporate Affairs Secretary R Banerjee said
that as professionals, company secretaries should keep a
watchful eye to ensure compliance with regulations.

"Complaints come to us that company secretaries, instead
of guiding corporates the right way, are advising them how to
bypass the legislations," he regretted.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, September 2, 2010 - 20:07

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