Archive for the ‘PIB’ Category


The Competition Commission of India passed a supplementary order modifying the Apartment Buyers Agreement entered into between DLF and the apartment allottees. This order under Section 27 of the Competition Act, 2002 relates to the order of the Hon’ble Competition Appellate Tribunal of March 29, 2012, by which the Commission was directed to pass an order specifying the extent and manner in which the terms and conditions of the Apartment Buyer’s Agreement need to be modified. This order has been passed under Section 27(d) of the Competition Act.

The Commission in its order after considering the modified terms of the Apartment Buyers Agreement submitted by both parties, has modified the terms of the Apartment Buyers Agreement in a manner which it considers fair and reasonable and takes into account the interest of both parties.

The Commission in its earlier order dated August 12, 2011 had held that DLF Ltd. was a dominant enterprise which had violated the provisions of Section 4 of the Competition Act 2002 by entering into an agreement with apartment allottees that was one sided, abusive and unfair to the allottees. Accordingly the Apartment Buyers Agreement has been amended such that the abusive and unfair conditions present in the original one sided agreement have been removed. The Commission in its order has also considered the relevant provisions of the laws applicable to the development of group housing projects in Haryana, particularly the mandatory requirements which must be followed by every developer/builder, but which were not followed by DLF Ltd. in this case.

The order of the Commission has been passed in Case No. 19 of 2010 and a copy of the order has been uploaded on the website of the CCI at www.cci.gov.in.

Source: Press Information Bureau.

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Shri M. S. Sahoo, an officer of the Indian Economic Service (IES) and also a Fellow Member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) has taken over as the Secretary of the ICSI w.e.f today. Shri Sutanu Sinha, also a Fellow Member of ICSI, has taken over as the new Chief Executive of the Institute from today.

Shri Sahoo has over three decades of rich work experience in self-employment, private sector, public sector, regulator and government in varied functional areas such as reforms, policy, regulations, research and analysis. He has also served as a Whole Time Member of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) during 2008-11.

Before assuming the office of the Chief Executive, Shri Sutanu Sinha was heading the Academics & Professional Development Directorate of the ICSI. He has over twenty five years of professional experience in the Company Secretarial and Corporate Functioning.

Source: Press Information Bureau.


Competition Commission of India (CCI) – Promoting Fair Competition for the Consumers.

Free and fair competition is one of the pillars of an efficient market economy.  Therefore, competition has become a driving force in the global economy.  In India, Competition Commission of India (CCI) was set up in March, 2009 under the Competition Act, 2002 to protect and promote competition.  Sections 3 and 4 of the Competition Act, relating to anticompetitive agreements and abuse of dominance were notified in May, 2009, while sections 5 and 6, relating to mergers and acquisitions, were notified from June 1, 2011.  The Indian competition law has thus fully come into force.  The overarching aim of the Commission is to make markets work well for the benefit of consumers.

Cartelization doesn’t pay: Cement companies penalized

The Commission has found cement manufacturers in violation of the provisions of the Competition Act, 2002 which deals with anticompetitive agreements including cartels. The order was passed pursuant to investigation carried out by the Director General (DG) upon information filed by Builders Association of India. The Commission has imposed penalty on eleven cement manufacturers named in the information at the rate of 0.5 times of their profit for the year 2009-10 and 2010-11. The penalty so worked out amounts to more than six thousand six hundred crores. 

CCI completes one successful year of Combinations Regulation (Merger Review)

One of the Commission’s most significant priorities has been to build an efficient merger control regime.

The merger review process by the Commission has completed one year on May 31, 2012. During this period, the Commission received sixty one notices. All the notices have been cleared within the self-imposed limit of thirty days.

Regulations updates

The Competition Commission of India, after gaining experience of implementation of the Combination Regulations for almost nine months amended the Regulations. This was done with a view to provide relief to the corporate entities from making filings for combinations  unlikely to raise adverse competition concerns, reduce their compliance requirements, make filings simpler and move towards certainty in the application of the Act.

CCI Keeps Promise of Fast Track Clearance of Combination Filings

The Commission approved 18 combination filings during this quarter. All filings were cleared within a period of 30 days from the date of filing the notice under Combinations Regulations 2011. It was held in all these cases that the proposed combinations were not likely to cause appreciable adverse effect on competition in relevant markets in India.

INVESTIGATIONS INITIATED

i) Alleged Abuse of Dominance: The Competition Commission of India has initiated an investigation against the global internet giant Google, for its alleged involvement in anti-competitive practices in India.Google is currently battling antitrust probes in five continents. 

ii) Alleged Abuse of Dominant Position by Coal India Limited: It was brought to the notice of CCI that due to the monopoly position of CIL, it has been able to indulge in abuse of its monopoly power by way of enforcing a non-transparent contract regarding the quality and other parameters of coal. While implementing the terms of the contract, CIL is supplying poor quality coal, which is lumpy, sticky and wet. The international practice of washing coal is also not being followed. CCI found that there exists a prima facie and directed the DG to investigate the same.

ADVOCACY INITIATIVES

i) Publicity Campaign:  Competition Act mandates Competition Advocacy to promote competition, create awareness and impart training about competition issues. CCI had initiated a print publicity campaign as part of advocacy initiative.  Advertisements were released nation-wide in Hindi, English as well as the prominent regional languages.

ii) Second National Level Essay Competition 2012: CCI organised its second national level “Annual Essay Competition”, taking cognizance of the fact that students are important stakeholders in the realm of competition law.  The announcement for competition elicited overwhelming response from students across the country. Students spanning from remote corners of the country to the metro cities participated in the competition. The overwhelming response to the competition can be gauged from the fact that even Indian students studying in foreign universities sent their entries for the competition.

NEW INITIATIVES

i) Eminent Persons Advisory Group Constituted: The Commission has constituted an Eminent Persons Advisory Group (EPAG) to get inputs and expert advice from eminent persons in various fields on a broad range of issues relevant for effective fulfillment of CCI`s mandate. The first meeting of the EPAG was held on July 23, 2012 at CCI office.

ii) Knowledge Partnership Initiative (KPI) Launched: CCI has launched a new initiative “Knowledge Partnership Initiative (KPI)” with the objective of helping to build a strong knowledge base in the field of competition law, promoting competition law compliance and expanding the outreach of competition law in the country. Under this initiative, a meeting with the prominent law schools in India was organised on September 14, 2012 in CCI.

iii)  Distinguished Visitor Knowledge Sharing Series (DVKS): Mr. U.K. Sinha, Chairman, Security & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) delivered the fourth lecture under the “Distinguished Visitor Knowledge Sharing Series” on “Securities Market Regulations – An Overview” on September 10, 2012 in CCI. Such lectures play an instrumental role in capacity building of CCI officials.

iv) Capacity Building: Knowledgeable and well trained professionals are vital for effective enforcement of the Competition Act. The Commission has been regularly organising capacity building events during last three years in collaboration with mature jurisdictions like US and EU.

v) Engaging with the world:  Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the US Antitrust Agencies Signed: MOU is expected to strengthen the existing friendly relations between Indian and US competition authorities

vi) CCI Chairperson Elected to Chair UNCTAD`s Twelfth Session of Intergovernmental Group of Experts (IGE) on Competition Law and Policy

vii) CCI Annual Day Workshop in collaboration with UNCTAD: Competition Commission of India (CCI) commemorated its Annual Day  i.e. enforcement of the Competition Law in the country by organizing a workshop jointly with UNCTAD on May 21-22, 2012 in New Delhi on “Competition Law & State Owned Enterprises”. The workshop was inaugurated by Dr. M. Veerappa Moily, Hon’ble Minister of Corporate Affairs. The workshop was attended by more than  hundred participants, which included CMDs of NTPC, Oil India, IOCL and Shipping Corporation of India, senior officials from various PSUs, representatives from academia, professional organizations etc.

Source: Press Information Bureau.


A landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was inked between the IICA and the NLSIU here in New Delhi today. Prof. R Venkata Rao, Vice Chancellor, National Law School of India University; Dr Bhaskar Chatterjee, Director General & CEO, Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs; Shri Dhanendra Kumar, Principal Adviser, Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs, Shri Chandra Prakash, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of corporate affairs and a host of other invitees and professionals from the legal and the corporate world participated in the event.

The MoU between the IICA and the NLSIU is intended to establish collaborative academic cooperation in the areas of competition policy and law; economic regulation; corporate social responsibility; corporate laws; finance and other possible areas of collaboration. Through this partnership, the two national institutions would undertake cutting edge research and roll out innovative courses to meet the contemporary knowledge and skill needs of stakeholders.

The event began with the signing of the MoU by Prof. Venkata Rao and Dr Bhaskar Chatterjee, on behalf of National Law School of India University and Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs, respectively.

Offering his introductory remarks, Shri Dhanendra Kumar, formerly Chairperson, Competition of India and currently, Principal Adviser, IICA dwelt on IICA as the centre of excellence, a think tank and a unique institute of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, just as about NLSIU as the unique and premier law school. He highlighted the importance of capacity buildingof the regulators and their officials through the national institute such as the IICA.

Prof. R VenkataRao, Vice Chancellor, National Law School of India University, in his addressgave a detailed account of evolution of NSLIU to its present status of excellence of the premier institution. He said “the race for excellence does not have finish line, adding the MoU was a “a very important step in the journey of a thousand miles in search of excellence”. He emphasized the importance of the proposed symbiotic relationship with the institute of excellence like the IICA.

In the address, Dr.Bhaskar Chatterjee, DG & CEO, IICA spoke at length about the landmark collaborative initiative and marked the day as the “Red Letter Day for IICA”. He said that the MoU between the IICA and NLSIU is rightly timed which will not only maximise collaborative strength but also provide potential for endless opportunities.

To fulfil the research and capacity building needs, the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs, has been established by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs as the national knowledge platform covering the areas of competition policy and law; corporate social responsibility; corporate governance; corporate laws; finance etc. The National Law School of India University, on the other hand, is an internationally well-known premier university in the areas of legal education and research.

Source: Press Information Bureau.


Passage of the new Companies Bill by Lok Sabha and introduction of the Competition Commission of India (Amendment) Bill 2012 in the Parliament are the highlights of the achievements of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs during 2012

Year-end Review 2012

Passing of the new Companies Bill by the Lok Sabha:

The passing of the Companies Bill, 2011 by the Lok Sabha on 18th December 2012 has been a great achievement of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs during the year. On its enactment this new Companies law will allow the country to have a modern legislation for growth and regulation of corporate sector in India. The existing statute for regulation of companies in the country, viz. the Companies Act, 1956 had been under consideration for quite long for comprehensive revision in view of the changing economic and commercial environment nationally as well as internationally. In view of various reformatory and contemporary provisions proposed in the Companies Bill, 2011, together with omission of existing unwanted and obsolete compliance requirements, the companies in the country will be able to comply with the requirements of the proposed Companies Act in a better and more effective manner.

In October the Union Cabinet approved the proposal to make official amendments to the Companies Bill, 2011. The Companies Bill, 2011 had earlier been introduced in the Lok Sabha on 14th December, 2011 and was considered by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance which submitted its report to the Speaker, Lok Sabha, on 26th June, 2012. The report was laid in the Parliament on 13th August 2012. Keeping in view the recommendations made by such Committee it was decided to make certain modifications in the Companies Bill, 2011 through official amendments after which it was presented in the Lok Sabha which passed it.

Competition Commission of India (Amendment) Bill 2012:

The year also saw the introduction of a Bill in the Lok Sabha on 7th December 2012 by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to further amend the Competition Act, 2002, with a view to fine tune it and to meet the present day needs in the field of competition, in the light of the experiences gained in the actual working of the Competition Commission of India in the last few years.

Major amendments proposed in the Bill relate to changing the definition of “turnover”, “Group”, reducing the overall time limit of finalization of combinations from 210 days to 180 days and insertion of a new Section 5A enabling the Central Government to lay down, in consultation with the Competition Commission of India, different thresholds for any class or classes of enterprises for the purpose of examining acquisitions, mergers and amalgamations by the Commission. The other amendments relate to procedural aspects in working of the Commission.

The proposal after its initial consideration in April, 2012 was referred to a Group of Ministers to examine it in details, with particular reference to jurisdiction of sectoral regulators on Competition related issues.

The Group of Ministers considered the issues referred to it by the Cabinet and while endorsing the original proposal also proposed amendment in the Competition Act requiring other regulators to mandatorily refer matters impinging on “Competition” to the Competition Commission of India, and vice-versa to concerned regulators by CCI, on matters relating to those regulators. To this extent the original proposal has been modified.

National Competition Policy:

With a view to make the ‘culture of Competition’ an intrinsic part of governance at each tier of administration- Centre, State or local body, the Government is considering bringing out a National Competition Policy. During the year Ministry had sought the opinion of the State Governments on the said policy and the State Governments are broadly in agreement with the proposed policy. The Ministry  also invited comments and initiated  consultations thereon with various sections of the society such as Stakeholders, Industry, Law Firms, Researchers, Economists etc. and incorporated their responses suitably in the  Policy. The Policy is expected to be finalized shortly.

Continuation of the MCA21 Project in its new avatar:

During the year the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved continuation of the flagship programme of the Ministry: the MCA21 Project for its second cycle from January, 2013 to July, 2021. The new cycle of the Project will be a Non-Plan Scheme at a total project outlay of Rs. 357.81 crore -including an outlay of Rs.54.42 crore for independent project management and certification – over eight and a half year period. It also includes an outlay of Rs. 29.84 crore for continuous improvements and up-gradation to the electronic service delivery of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

The project will benefit all the companies and LLPs registered in India. In addition, the project benefits citizens through its IEPF sub-portal for investor awareness and disclosures. Banks and financial institutions also benefit immensely from MCA21 as it acts as a repository of charge information on company/company`s assets. MCA21 project has also benefited various state governments through innovative use of electronic stamps (e-stamp).

MCA21 e-governance programme has already resulted in improved service delivery and in its second cycle it is expected to continue the same. In addition, the project will improve corporate governance through better scrutiny of company disclosures, better enforcement of corporate laws and paperless working.

The “MCA21 Project” of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, launched in February 2006, is a major e-Governance initiative covering all aspects of incorporation and regulation of companies as defined under the Companies Act. It is an end-to-end e-Governance program envisaging electronic filing of documents, registration of companies and public access to corporate information online through a secure interactive portal. The portal services can be accessed/ availed from anywhere, at any time that best suits the corporate entities, professionals and the public at large.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has proposed similar service delivery model as in first project cycle. In addition to continuing all the services being provided presently, Ministry of Corporate Affairs will extend e-governance to its OL offices, connect attached offices like SFIO and CLB, etc. in its second cycle. Ministry envisages redesigning of the portal to improve the stakeholder`s experience. New services like SMS and mobile enabled interfaces will be provided for improved service delivery. A new vendor for running the portal in its new cycle was also chosen during the year.

Another record achieved in Peak Filing:

With the strengthening of the MCA 21 portal, the filing of Annual Report and Balance Sheet has further streamlined resulting in a new record for the peak filing during 2012. The Ministry had done special preparatory work under MCA 21 for the smooth conduct of the processes during the peak filing months of October and November. As a result about 15.76 lakh filings (all forms) were received in the month of October and November 2012 – which is about 2.74 lakh filings more than the previous year. The final figure for this entire year is 17.40 lakh filings – as against 15 lakh filings made last year.

A total of 6.69 lakh annual filings (Annual Reports and Balance Sheets) were received which is about 1.02 lakh more than the previous year. Also, the MCA 21 received 88,119 FILINGS ON ONE SINGLE DAY on 21st November 2012 which is highest ever compared to previous years – 24% more than the last year’s peak filing on a single day. Notably, this progress is achieved in addition to XBRL filings.

Release of MCA XBRL Validation Tool (Final Version):

Final version of the MCA XBRL Validation Tool (for Financial Statements based upon new Schedule VI of the Companies Act, 1956) was released during the year. Under this initiative XBRL filings of financial statements for accounting year commencing on or after 01.04.2011 were enabled on MCA website with effect from 14.10.2012. For end users a ‘Filing Manual’ was made available on the XBRL portal of the Ministry’s website for filing the financial statements in XBRL format.

MCA XBRL Validation Tool (for costing taxonomy) was also released and XBRL filings of Cost Audit report and Compliance report were enabled on MCA website with effect from 02.12.2012.

As per General Circular number 39/2012 dated 12.12.2012, time limit to file financial statements in XBRL mode (for the financial year commencing on or after 01.04.2011) without any additional fee has been extended up to 15th January´2013 or within 30 days of AGM of the company, whichever is later. As per latest available data more than 1,500 filings have been done under XBRL which will zoom to new records when the last date approaches.

Integration of LLP with MCA 21 system:

In order to enhance and extend the operational convenience to the stakeholders and grouping of all registry related functions on a single platform, Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) e-governance was integrated with MCA 21 from 11th June 2012. With this integration, the filing and approval of ‘LLP forms’ is being done through MCA 21 website and the stakeholders are now availing all existing facilities of MCA 21 for LLP forms filing including online payment or use of internet banking from designated banks in addition to credit card payment.

In addition, the regulation of LLPs has been decentralized amongst 20 Registrars of Companies across country, enabling direct promotion of the new form of corporate entity in their region. This was earlier being handled centrally by the Registrar of Companies, Delhi.

Continuous effort to improve Corporate Governance: The Damodaran and the Godrej Committees

A committee has been formed under the Chairmanship of Mr. M.Damodaran, former Chairman, to suggest a road map for improvement in ease of doing business in India. The aim is to have a measurable target in terms of improvement in the rankings within a period of next 3 to 5 years and place India at one of the top five positions with zero hassles. The Committee completed the exercise of collecting background materials. The Committee is likely to submit its report by end of June 2013.

Ministry of Corporate Affairs constituted a committee to formulate a Policy document on Corporate Governance under the Chairmanship of Shri Adi Godrej on 07.03.2012.  The committee has since submitted its report to the Central Government suggesting adoption of certain ‘guiding principles of Corporate Governance’.  It is proposed to obtain comments/suggestions of public to the recommended principles before deciding further course of action in the matter, the Minister said.

The Ministry is also working towards developing a business confidence index for the corporate sector in India based on robust economic parameters which would reflect true strengths and quicker analysis of the corporate sector in India. It is expected that such index for the corporate sector in India based on robust economic parameters which would reflect true strengths and quicker analysis of the corporate sector in India. It is expected that such index will be in place in the near future.

Central Monitoring Committee and Regional Task Forces on vanishing companies:

The Ministry has constituted a Central Monitoring Committee and Regional Task Forces on vanishing companies to keep a check on such cases. As on date, 87 companies are considered falling under the ‘vanishing’ category. FIRs have been lodged against all these 87 vanishing companies and their directors with the Police to trace their whereabouts and also to take action under Indian Penal Code (IPC). Further, prosecutions have been filed against vanishing companies and their Directors under Sections 162 and 220 of the Companies Act, 1956 for non-filing of Statutory Returns and under Sections 62/63, 68 and 628 of the Companies Act, 1956 for mis-statement in prospectus/fraudulently inducing persons to invest money/false statements made in the offer documents, etc. Promoters/directors of the vanishing companies were also debarred by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) from raising money from the public under Section 11B of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act.  Besides, details of vanishing companies and their promoters/directors have been published in the Newspapers as well as placed on the website of the Ministry (www.mca.gov.in) to facilitate the investors to come forward and lodge their complaints against vanishing companies.

Investor Awareness Programmes:

A large number of Investor Awareness Programmes have been conducted during the year in partnership with the 3 Professional Institutes i.e. ICAI, ICSI and ICSAI to educate the investors, including the young investors, about the various investments options.  These programmes cover various cities and towns (including Tier II and Tier III towns) across the country. During the year till November 2012, about 1,200 investor awareness programmes had been organized through.

The Ministry organized the ‘India Corporate and Investor Meet’ during February 2012 to reach out to the investors and educate them for greater participation in the corporate economy of the country.

During the year a new website was set up for the companies to file details of unpaid and unclaimed amounts of investors for last 7 years and not yet transferred to the Consolidation Fund of India. This website enables the investors to search and locate the relevant information of such amounts. More than 4,500 companies have uploaded their data on this website.

Source: Press Information Bureau.