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Posted at: Mar 21, 2017, 1:01 AM; last updated: Mar 21, 2017, 1:01 AM (IST)

RoC to strike off 1,200 defunct cos from MCA website

Move to curb money laundering

515 firms defaulter in Himachal Pradesh

  • Defunct companies are those who have not commenced their operations within one year of incorporation or those which have not filed annual return or balance sheet for two years
  • As many as 515 companies in Himachal Pradesh alone have been identified which are defunc

Vijay C Roy

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20

Acting on the directions of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, the Registrar of Companies (RoC) — Chandigarh, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh — is working on identifying defunct companies. According to sources, around 1,200 companies have already been found whose name would be struck off from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) website or database. The proposed move will check money laundering and tax evasion.

Defunct companies are those who have not commenced their operations within one year of incorporation or those which have not filed annual return or balance sheet for two years.

According to sources, there are many companies which are currently being examined by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) through a committee to check if they are legitimate or are being operated as shell companies.

“We have identified around 515 companies in Himachal Pradesh which are defunct. We are in the process of striking off their names from the MCA website,” said Dr Raj Singh, Registrar of Companies, Himachal Pradesh. Sources in RoC said similar number of companies has been found in Chandigarh and Punjab and officials are working on identifying more such defunct companies.

Earlier this year, a task force was set up under the co-chairmanship of revenue secretary and corporate affairs secretary, with members from various regulatory ministries and enforcement agencies, to monitor the actions taken against deviant shell companies by various agencies.

Nationally, there are around 15 lakh registered companies and only 6 lakh of these file their annual returns. This means that a large number of these companies may be indulging in financial irregularities.

In a small sample analysis of such companies, it has been found that Rs 1,238 crore cash has been deposited in these entities during November-December period last year.

The government is planning to take harsh punitive actions against the deviant shell companies which will include freezing of bank accounts, striking off the names of dormant companies and invocation of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016.

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