New Company law bill to be introduced in Budget session: Gupta

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New Delhi, Feb 16 (UNI) The draft of the new Company Law Bill is being given final touches and will be introduced in the ensuing Budget Session of Parliament, and fears on the proposed 'combination regulation' are unfounded, Minister for Corporate Affairs Prem Chand Gupta said today.

Addressing the plenary session of FICCI's 80th AGM on ''The Corporate Affairs of India: The Way Forward'', the Minister said, ''The new law will promote shareholders' democracy, replace the 'approval based system' with a system of responsible disclosures, promote good corporate governance and effective protection of investors.'' Mr. Gupta said, the law would be administered by the Competition Commission of India (CCI). ''In order to address the various issues that came up during the litigation against the proposed CCI, the law has been amended and now we are in the process of operationalising the CCI at the earliest.'' The Minister sought to set at rest concerns of the trade and industry over 'combination regulation'.

''I have discussed these issues with my officers in the Ministry as well as officers of the CCI and found that most of the apprehensions to be the outcome of incomplete and inadequate appreciation of the law and the fear of the unknown,'' he said, adding that there appears to be a presumption that the provisions of the law are going to be implemented with a negative mindset.

Mr Gupta said he had advised his officers to address the genuine concerns of all the stakeholders through regulations, which should be framed through a transparent and wide consultative process.

He urged corporates to ''look at these regulations with an open and positive mind as no law can be evaluated on the presumption of 'lack of good faith' and that too before it is actually implemented.'' The Minister said a major problem area relating to corporate functioning was the slow liquidation process.

Today, it takes 10 years on an average for a company to be liquidated. In this process, the value of the assets gets eroded.

The issue is now being addressed in the new law, he said, adding that the approach being based on the general principles adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.

Mr Gupta said an important aspect of the competition law relates to the protection of consumers' interests.

''In our zeal and enthusiasm of immediate gains, we should not ignore the fact that long-term and sustainable prosperity our trade and industry is very much dependent on the welfare of the consumers,'' he said.

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