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Thursday, Jun 16, 2005

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Time frame set for grant of disclosure approvals

Richa Mishra

The Minister held that cases of approvals or exemptions under Sections 211 and 212 should not take more than 30 days.

New Delhi , June 15

COMPANIES will no longer have to wait for months to avail themselves of mandatory approvals or exemptions on certain disclosure requirements.

The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Company Affairs, Mr Prem Chand Gupta, has laid down a timeframe for clearance or rejection of such cases of disclosure requirements.

India Inc has time and again pressed for quickening the procedure for disclosure of particulars of subsidiaries in the balance-sheet of a holding company and compliance with disclosure requirements in the balance-sheet and the profit/loss account.

Speaking to Business Line, the Minister said the processing of most of these cases was routine, and hence it should not take too long for them to be cleared.

Besides, a mechanism needs to be worked out to reduce the paperwork for corporates by making the entire process more stakeholder-friendly, he said. The Minister held that cases of approvals or exemptions under Sections 211 and 212 should not take more than 30 days. The upper time limit for approvals under other sections of the Act should be 45 days. Any case pending in the Ministry for approval or exemption under any provision of the Act for more than 90 days would be monitored at the Secretary level and those for more than 120 days at the Minister's level.

Mr Gupta said that the up-to-date status of the cases for approvals or exemptions should be available on the Web site of the Ministry along with reasons for delay, if any.

Currently, the Act requires the companies to approach the Government if they want exemptions from disclosures in these areas, including directors' remuneration. The Government has the powers to grant or deny exemptions.

Section 211 provides that the profit and loss account and the balance-sheet have to be prepared in the format specified under Schedule VI.

The same section also allows the Union Government, on an application from a company, to modify any of the requirements on matters to be stated in the balance-sheet or the profit and loss account for adapting them to the circumstances of the company.

Section 212, which relates to disclosure of particulars of subsidiaries in holding company statements, provides that the Union Government could, on application, grant exemptions from disclosure of particulars of subsidiaries in the holding company's balance-sheet.

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