Even as Parliament failed to transact any business in the ongoing winter session due to the FDI conflict, corporate affairs minister M Veerappa Moily sounded an end to the logjam when said he hoped to introduce the Companies Bill in Parliament in the coming days. “Parliament cannot be stalled for ever, it will naturally have to function. I hope to present the bill by Tuesday, it is an extremely important bill which would boost corporate India,” Moily told Hindustan Times.
The introduction of the bill, aimed at overhauling corporate governance norms and granting shareholders with greater powers to defend their rights, would would mark an end to nearly two-and-half years of debate and discussions to legislate a framework of checks and balances, transparency and accountability.
The proposed legislation, which will replace the 55-year old Companies Act 1956, will make the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), an agency mandated to investigate corporate scams, a statutory institution, with the authority to file chargesheets, impose punitive measures and in specific instances, even arrest the guilty in corporate crimes.
The Bill, which was first introduced in Parliament in August 2009, is expected to incorporate amendments suggested by the Parliamentary standing committee on finance.