The Union Government Finance Minister, Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman announced the fifth and final tranche of its #Covid19 economy revival #package under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan, on 17.05.2020. The focus of this Part of the #EconomicReliefsPackage 2020-21 is on the Government reforms and enablers.

This Part covered the seven steps that are being taken by the Government with regard to reforms in MGNREGS, healthcare and education, businesses, de-criminalisation of the Companies Act, ease of doing business, public sector undertakings, and resources related to State Government. The keys points of the final tranche are mentioned below:

1. Ease of Doing BusinessReforming  Governance for Ease of Doing Business   Ease of Doing Business for Corporates  Government announced that globally potential investors look at a country’s Doing Business Report ranking. It stated that sustained measures taken have resulted in steadily improving India’s position in World Bank’s Doing Business Report rank from 142 in 2014 to 63 in 2019   This included streamlining processes such as granting of permits and clearance, self-certification and third party certification among others.   It was also announced that Government is working on a mission mode on the next phase of Ease of Doing Business Reforms relating to easy registration of property, fast disposal of commercial disputes and simpler tax regime for making India one of the easiest places to do business.   Government announced that direct listing of securities by Indian public companies in permissible foreign jurisdictions, private companies which list NCDs on stock exchanges not to be regarded as listed companies.   Power to create additional/specialized benches for NCLAT;   Lower penalties for all defaults for Small Companies, One person Companies, Producer Companies Start Ups.  
2. De-criminalisation of the Companies ActRecent Corporate Law measures to boost Measures for Ease of Doing BusinessIn the first phase of decriminalization of Company Law, 16 compoundable offences were shifted to an in house adjudication penalty mechanism;Integrated Web based Incorporation Form placed online;Databank of Independent Directors launched;Withdrawal of more than 14 000 prosecutions under the Companies Act, 2013;Rationalization of Related Party Transaction related provisions;Timely Action during COVID 19 to reduce compliance burden under various provisions of the Companies Act, 2013;In 221 resolved cases, 44 Recovery has been achieved since inception of IBC, 2016;Under IBC, 13,566 cases involving a total amount of Rs 501 lakh Crores (Approx have been withdrawn before admission under provisions of IBC till 29.02.2020.  
3. EducationTechnology driven Systems Online Education during COVIDEducation at all level has been upgraded to increase its reach to the public at large.  Government announced that provision made for telecast of live interactive sessions on these channels with experts from home through Skype.   A programme for multi-mode access to digital/online education to be launched immediately. And various other measures have been announced to make education more digitally accessible.  
4. BusinessFurther enhancement of Ease of Doing business through IBC related measuresGovernment stated that minimum threshold to initiate insolvency proceedings raised to Rs 1 Crore (from Rs 1 lakh, which largely insulates MSMEs). It announced that special insolvency resolution framework for MSMEs under Section 240A of the Code to be notified soon.   The major announcement as a relief is announced by the Government by suspension of fresh initiation of insolvency proceedings up to one year depending upon the Pandemic situation.   It further announced that during the COVID 19 all related debts are excluded from the definition of “default” under the IBC for the purpose of triggering insolvency proceedings.  
5. Public Sector Enterprise PolicyPublic Sector Enterprise Policy for a New, Self reliant IndiaA new coherent policy where all sectors are open to the private sector while Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) will play an important role in defined areas. Accordingly Government will announce a new policy whereby list of strategic sectors requiring presence of PSEs in public interest will be notified.   In strategic sectors, at least one enterprise will remain in the public sector but private sector will also be allowed. In other sectors, PSEs will be privatized  

This final Part of the Economic Reliefs Package 2020-21 and focus is being given to “ease of doing business” for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) and enthusing private capital. It is hoped that this would help the Country to jump start the Economy post Covid-19.

Lakshmi Vishwakarma


The Indian Lawyer & Allied Services

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