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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Serious Penal Consequence of late Annual Filing – landmine ahead


[The law stated in this post is effective from the 7th day of May 2018]

There is a perception that filing of financial statements and other documents with additional fee absolve the company from consequences under section 92, section 137 and conditional exemption given to certain companies by certain notifications issued by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

This is also a general view of the companies that any extension granted for the filing of the financial statements and other documents without additional fee grant immunity to the companies from its liabilities under mentioned provisions.

I beg to differ, conditionally.

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Application to Central Government for appointment of Managerial Personnel


[NOTE: The law stated in this post is effective from 12th September 2018. For the law applicable from 1st April 2014 till 11th September 2018, please visit here.]

We discussed the appointment of managing director and whole time directors recently here as per the law effective from 12th September 2018. A careful reading suggests that recent amendment done away with the requirement of the central government for payment of remuneration of managerial personnel. This amendment also eased procedure for appointment of managerial personnel with the limited requirement for central government approval for such an appointment. We will discuss the same, in this post.

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Managerial Remuneration during period of inadequate profit


[NOTE: The law stated in this post is effective from 12th September 2018. For the law applicable from 1st April 2014 till 11th September 2018, please visit here and here.]

Any managerial remuneration exceeding 11% of net profit limit may be payable subject to compliance of conditions given in Schedule V.

Where a remuneration of managerial personal exceed respective limits of 1%, 3% 5%, or 10%  specified in section 197 in any manner, it becomes remuneration in case of the inadequate profit and attracts approval company in general meeting by special resolution, subject to the provisions of Schedule V.

We have discussed Section 197 as amended update 12th September 2018 earlier here. In this post, we will discuss managerial remuneration in case of inadequate profit as per Schedule V as on 12th September 2018.

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MANAGERIAL REMUNERATION


[NOTE: The law stated in this post is effective from 12th September 2018. For the law applicable from 1st April 2014 till 11th September 2018, please visit here and here.

In this post, we will discuss managerial remuneration. The managerial remuneration in case of inadequate profit shall be discussed in a future post, soon.

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APPOINTMENT OF MANAGING DIRECTOR AND MANAGER


[NOTE: The law stated in this post is effective from 12th September 2018. For the law applicable from 1st April 2014 till 11th September 2018, please visit here.]

The Managing Director is Key Managerial Personnel of utmost importance. He is the face of a company and its decision-making mechanism. A person gains significant advantages as the Managing Director which may not be there, in case of his appointment as the Manager or the Chief Executive Officer. While the Chief Executive Officer has no special advantage except his clubbing as a Key Managerial Personnel with the Manager and the Managing Director, the Manager has some advantage. Their definitions speak themselves. Appointment of Managing Director, Whole – Time Director and Manager is governed by the provision of Section 196 of the Companies Act, 2013. They all are a different class of Key Managerial Personnel and has the specific provision of appointment in addition to Section 203, discussed in an earlier post. Continue reading

REGISTERING COMPANIES AUTHORISED TO REGISTER


Part – I of Chapter XXI deals with companies authorizes to register under this Companies Act, 2013.

Any company formed under any law for the time being in force duly constituted according to law and consisting of two or more members may at any time register under this Act as a company. This registration shall not be invalid by reason only that it has taken place with a view to the companies being wound up. We have discussed these provisions of Section 366 of the Companies Act, 2013 as amended and updated earlier here.

The Companies (Authorised to Registered) Rules 2014 supplement the provisions of the Companies Act 2014. Till 5th July 2018 with effect from 15th August 2018 these rules had no provision of conversion of society and trust to the company as discussed earlier here.

In this series of posts, we will discuss these rules as amended by the Companies (Authorised to Registered) 2nd Amendment Rules, 2018.

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