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Pilot project at Coimbatore for e-filing of company documents — TCS develops software, infrastructure support

G. Gurumurthy

About 53 physical front offices across various States will be set up to supplement the efforts of RoCs as many industry centres may not be located close to the offices of RoC

Coimbatore , Feb. 15

THE Ministry of Company Affairs (MCA) is set to roll out its e-governance programme `MAC21' with the launch of a pilot project for e-filing of company documents at the registrar of companies (RoC), Coimbatore this weekend.

E-filing, part of MAC21's e-governance programme to help corporates meet statutory compliances, will be gradually introduced to all the RoC offices across the country by April 2006.

The Union Minister of Company Affairs, Mr Prem Chand Gupta, will launch the pilot project here on Saturday.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) will be the operator of MCA's on-line services for the next seven years. TCS has developed the software and IT infrastructure support for the MCA. It will also run 53 physical front offices (PFOs) across various States to assist certified professionals and companies in filing documents online. These centres are meant to supplement the efforts of RoCs, as many industry centres may not be located close to the offices of RoC. In many areas, companies may not have access to e-filing facilities. Thus, PFOs would be able to process electronic documents for such companies and transfer them to RoCs.

Coimbatore RoC was identified for the launch of the pilot project, after considering the compact size of the corporates there, and their adoptability and adherence to statutory compliances. As against the all-India average compliance (in filing of returns) of 50 per cent, Coimbatore's statutory compliance with company laws is 60 per cent.

With Coimbatore RoC having a jurisdiction over seven districts, the average number of companies being incorporated by the office in a month is around 45-50. As on February 14, 2006, the total number of companies incorporated by the RoC Coimbatore was 12,573.

The National Institute of Smart Government (NISG) devised MCA's online filing system. A unique director identification number (DIN) and a digital signature certificate for the use of authorised signatories mandated to handle online filing by companies will be issued under the system. Once the network gets stabilised, statutory company documents such as the memorandum of association, annual returns and balance sheets can be filed in 24 hours.

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