March 20, 2020
Summary of Notifications and Circulars issued by MCA and SEBI on 19/03/2020 and 18/03/2020
1. The Companies (Meetings of Board and its Powers) Amendment Rules, 2020
In line with MCA bulletin on its website confirming the government’s in-principle decision to relax the requirement of holding Board Meeting’s with physical presence of Directors as mandated under Companies Act, 2013 until June 30, 2020, MCA vide its notification dated March 19, 2020 has amended the Companies (Meetings of Board and its Powers) Rules,2014.
With this notification, w.e.f. March 19, 2020 until June 30, 2020, the restricted matters under Rule 4 such as approval of the annual financial statements, Board’s report, prospectus,etc. may now be held through video conferencing or other audio-visual means within the framework provided by Rule 3.
This decision is in order to facilitate conduct of business while taking necessary precautions against coronavirus.
This further envisages the dependence professionals will make on technology that enables conducting paperless board meetings from remote location while maintaining data security and integrity.
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2. SEBI Circular regarding relaxation from compliance with certain provisions of the LODR, 2015 due to the COVID -19 virus pandemic
Through the Circular dated March 19, 2020, the Market regulator, SEBI has grants relaxation to all listed entities that have listed their specified securities, with regard to due dates for various compliance and filings such as compliance certificate on share transfer facility, statement of investor complaints, secretarial compliance report,corporate governance report, shareholding pattern and financial results.
Further, the Board of Directors and Audit Committee of the listed entity are exempted from observing the maximum stipulated time gap of one hundred twenty days between two meetings for the meetings held or proposed to be held between the period December 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020 subject to minimum four meetings in a year.
With a highly dynamic framework for regulated entities, responsibility lies with the professionals to stay updated and ensure timely compliance.
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3. MCA takes steps towards completion of stalled housing projects that are in the affordable and middle-income housing sector under IB Code, 2016
MCA vide its notification dated March 18, 2020 has broadened the definition of “interim finance” to include a debt raised from the Special Window for Affordable and Middle-Income Housing Investment Fund I.
With this notification, Resolution Professional shall have the power to take steps within the permitted framework of IB Code, 2016 towards arranging interim finance from the fund sponsored by Government for providing priority debt financing for completion of stalled housing projects that are in the affordable and middle-income housing sector.