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The Institute of Company Secretaries of India has written a representation letter to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to extend the timeline for holding of Annual General Meeting for the year ended 31st March 2021 till 31st December 2021 so as to provide relief to all the companies and stakeholders, keeping in view the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the official representation letter below:

16th August 2021

Shri Rajesh Verma, lAS
Secretary
Ministry of Corporate Affairs
Government of India
Shastri Bhawan, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Road
New Delhi -110001

Subject: Request for extension of timelines for holding Annual General Meeting (AGM) due to COVID-19

Respected Sir,

We appreciate various schemes and relaxations introduced by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) in providing relief and reducing the financial burden for the stakeholders in the difficult times and enabling the corporates during Covid 19 pandemic to out the much ease and without imposing additional financial burden.

Considering the difficulties faced by the stakeholders, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) extended the timeline for conduct of AGM by top 100 listed entities by market capitalization vide circular dated 23rd July 2021. Accordingly, such entities shall hold their AGM within a period of six months from the date of closing of the financial year for 2020-21. Circular attached for your ready reference.

ICSI requests MCA for extension of timeline for holding Annual General Meeting due to COVID-19

We appreciate the important step taken by the MCA for upgrading the MCA2l website to Version 3.0. The updated Version 3.0 will be a significant milestone in promoting ease of doing business. This Version will be more user friendly and add to the convenience of stakeholders. The first phase of Version 3.0 being launched in May 2021.

We once again wish to bring to your kind notice towards the challenges being faced by corporates in this scenario where the pandemic has bounced back with severe intensity during the second wave. According to various researches, the third wave of Covid-19 may hit India in the month of August end/September. This may adversely affect the corporates during the month of August and September which are considered as the peak season for Annual General Meetings. This might also impact the annual filing which is done by most of the corporates in the months of October and November.

For the purpose of convening the AGM, audited financial statements is the pre-requisite and required to be circulated along with the Notice of AGM. Due to current situation, there a practical difficulty in completing the Audit formalities as physical verification remains a challenge for the professionals. Majority of the offices are not fully functional and not working with their full staff strength. In many States, the authorities have announced strict Covid-19 guidelines or lockdown, social distancing norms and notified containment zones, due to which the professionals are facing difficulty in complying various compliances under the Companies Act, 2013.

Considering the current crisis, we request your esteemed office to grant an extension of time to the companies for holding AGM for the year ended 31st March, 2021 till 31st December, 2021 so as to provide relief to all the companies and stakeholders.

We request you to consider the above suggestions at the earliest possible as most of the companies will soon start the process of finalising and dispatching their annual reports.

We shall be pleased to provide any further information in this regard on hearing from your good self.

Thanking You,
Yours faithfully,

(CS Asish Mohan)
Secretary 

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