Category Archives: Governance and Responsibility

Governance and Responsibility – In life of Nation, State, Government, Corporate, Society and Individual

Ease of Doing Business Report 2019 – Corporate Law Perspective


Once upon a time falling in the line of World Bank was not fine for at least half of the world. The scenario is changing. There is a rumour that economies not only reforms but also window dress it.

India placed this year at the 77th place with 67.23 EODB scores. Unlike a layman, this EODB score concerns the exports. When we talk about this ranking is a rating of Delhi and Mumbai, not any other place. It might possible other states/cities doing better and not reflected in the report.

“India also focused on streamlining business processes. Under its National Trade Facilitation Action Plan 2017-2020, India implemented several initiatives that improved the efficiency of cross-border trade, reducing border and documentary compliance time for both exports and imports (figure 1.9). Enhanced risk-based management now allows exporters to seal their containers electronically at their own facilities; as little as 5% of shipments must undergo physical inspections. India also invested in port equipment, strengthened management and improved electronic document flow. By implementing the Single Window Clearance System in Delhi and the Online Building Permit Approval System in Mumbai during the second half of 2017, India also continued to streamline and centralize its construction permitting process. Regarding getting electricity, newly-adopted regulations from the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission require that electrical connections be completed within 15 days of the application’s acceptance. To comply with this regulation, Tata Power Delhi Distribution deployed more personnel as well as tracking tools and key performance indicators to monitor each commercial connection.” {Page 12}

A print version of the report may be downloaded from here.

SPICe added to the report

The report mentioned that India is among nation who improved by making it easier to start a business. India made starting a business easier by fully integrating multiple application forms into a general incorporation form.

Starting a Business

The starting a business ranking is fairly poor despite mentioning of SPICe in the report. The starting a Business rank among 190 economies is 137. On the scale of 100, the score for incorporation is 80.96. Starting a business in India involves 10 procedures involving 16.5 days. It cost 14.4% of per capita income of Indians. It means it is still not easy to start a formal business for an average Indian. This fact cause concern as there is no legal requirement of minimum capital for a business.

Minority Protection

This is good news. Our ranking is fairly good at 7th place with a score of 80. It can be understood that most economies are not doing fair on minority protection. So, it may not be our best efforts but the poor performance of most economies.

The extent of disclosure index (0–10) 8

The extent of director liability index (0–10) 7

Ease of shareholder suits index (0–10) 7

The extent of shareholder rights index (0–10) 10

The extent of ownership and control index (0–10) 8

The extent of corporate transparency index (0–10) 8

Resolving Insolvency

Insolvency is a very interesting phenomenon presently in India. Our improved rank is 108, a number which Indians love. Insolvency Resolution Score is 81.85. An average time for insolvency resolution is one year presently. This is quite embracing as against the promised 180 days. However, we are facing many practical issues and teething troubles.

Cost of Insolvency resolution is 3.5% of the estate evolved. Recovery rate is 85.3 cent in the Dollar.

In India the establishment of debt recovery tribunals reduced nonperforming loans by 28% and lowered interest rates on larger loans, suggesting that faster processing of debt recovery cases cut the cost of credit.

A recent study using Doing Business data showed that insolvency resolution is one of the main drivers behind “missing” corporate bond markets in many economies. More borrowers gain access to credit in economies with a robust legal system that supports the use of movable assets as collateral and a well-developed credit information sharing system.

Other major reform related to business

India (Delhi) issued a regulation prescribing new electricity charges.

India introduced the Maharashtra Goods and Services Tax Act 2017 and the Delhi Goods and Services Tax Act 2017, which unified all sales taxes into one new tax called the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Performance on corporate law front

Overall performance on corporate law front is not satisfactory. We can notice that last year insolvency related score and rating were improved due to the introduction of the law. Practical implementation of the same was not so satisfactory. Same is also true for incorporation of a company or starting a business.

Targeted reforms

This is unfortunate that government across economies trying to improve their ease of doing business ranking and not taking a holistic approach on reforms. Various segments which might need attention but not directly related to the ranking are not taken care of.

Anyway it is good to see reforms.

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Effective Provisions of the Companies Amendment Act 2017 w.e.f. 13 June 2018


With Four Notifications; S.O. 351(E) dated 23rd January 2018, S.O. 630(E) dated 9th February 2018, S.O. 1833(E) dated 7th May 2018 and S.O. 2422(E) dated 13th June 2018 most provisions of the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2017 (1 of 2018) come into force. Here is a bird’s eye view.

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Tracking of Directors


After numerous many leakages of sensitive information on faulty governance and unearthing of scam, Government is facing firework from ruling party and its parent organisations. The friendly government of corporate houses with allegedly better relationship with corny – capitalists business organisations, once again looking towards corporate jungle for next round of its killing hunt. As per primary level media reports, Ministry of Corporate Affairs preparing for additional information from directors to nab them at first sounding of the alarm bell. This is in public domain now; government is going to ask passport information of directors who are a citizen of India. This news is bigger than it appears in earlier newspaper reports.
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AishMGhrana BLOG RANKED AS ONE OF THE TOP 40 INDIAN LAW BLOGS


Among Top 40 Indian Law Blogs

Among Top 40 Indian Law Blogs

 We are extremely proud to announce to our readers that this Blog – AishMGhrana Law Governance Responsibility – has been ranked as one of the Top 40 Indian Law Blogs, published by Feedspot. This list is based on, among others, the quality and consistency of posts, social media presence. The entire list can be accessed here.

This blog already among Top Hundred Law blogs globally.

We are extremely grateful to our readers for their encouragement and support, without which we couldn’t have reached here. We hope to perform even better this year and achieve many more milestones.

If you have any suggestions for our blog, please do write to us at aishwaryam_gahrana@yahoo.com

Guest posts are welcome.

Rechristening the ICSI


Like Olympics, world cups and leap year, another thing sure to happen is some party talk around rechristening the ICSI. Usually, this informally happens just before leap year for a single reason already in public. This event occasionally gets formal. There are similar reasons used every time for acceptance and refusal of the exercise. Most company secretaries with humble backgrounds have an issue with term “secretary” and other with restrictive term “company”.

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‘Withdrawal’ of Secretarial Standards 1 & 2


In post “Technical Fault in issuance of Secretarial Standards” posted long ago, I humbly made certain observations on notifications of two Secretarial Standards which was approved by Central Government and specified by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI). A surprise notification of withdrawal published on 17th august 2017 come in support of my prima facie views. This withdrawal is effective with effect from 30th September 2017. Here, a discussion.

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Out of Sahara Blues


Finally government tries to come out of Sahara Blues. Government earlier was in pressure to put corporate governance in place among private companies and tried well. Thereafter, industry lobby (read as vested interests among “promoters” and “professionals”) started pleaded mercy for all “otherwise honest players”.

Government initiated it journey with exemption notifications and now bring this amendment rules.

The Companies (Audit and Auditors) Second Amendment Rules, 2017 is interesting in more than one way. Statistically, this exemption will benefit only selected big players among private companies in India and their auditors.

Section 139(2) of the Companies Act, 2013 reads, “No listed company or a company belonging to such class or classes of companies as may be prescribed, shall appoint or re-appoint—

(a) an individual as auditor for more than one term of five consecutive years; and

(b) an audit firm as auditor for more than two terms of five consecutive years.”

Rule 5 of the Companies (Audit and Auditors) Rules 2014 before present amendments reads, “for the purposes of sub-section (2) of section 139, the class of companies shall mean the following classes of companies excluding one person companies and small companies:-

(a) all unlisted public companies having paid up share capital of rupees ten crore or more;

(b) all private limited companies having paid up share capital of rupees twenty crore or more;

(c) all companies having paid up share capital of below threshold limit mentioned in (a) and (b) above, but having public borrowings from financial institutions, banks or public deposits of rupees fifty crores or more.”

Now, the Companies (Audit and Auditors) Second Amendment Rules, 2017, amend clause (b) of rule 5. The amendment rules reads, “in the Companies (Audit and Auditors) Rules, 2014, in rule 5, in clause (b), for the word “twenty”, the word “fifty” shall be substituted.

This amendment rules increase threshold limit for rotation of auditors for private companies by a good 150%.

As number of companies and auditors is not much, it may not affect stakeholders significantly but our commitment towards corporate governance.