Dr. Manmohan Singh stress upon need of periodical review of corporate laws, and says that new thinking is required in important areas such as investor education & protection, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility and competition law.
The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on April 13 inaugurated the new campus of Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) in Manesar, Haryana. Speaking on the occasion, he said that the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs has been conceived as a think-tank and research institute in the area of corporate law and allied disciplines, and also as a training organization for officers of the Indian Company Law Service. Complimenting the Ministry of Corporate Affairs for this very important initiative, he expressed confidence in the institute to live up to the expectations.
Dr. Manmohan Singh stressed upon the need of periodical review of corporate laws and amendments effected. He said new thinking is required in important areas such as investor education and protection, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility and competition law. The tremendous potential of MCA-21, the e-governance initiative of the Ministry, needs to be fully exploited. Also, in view of the increasing importance of small unlisted companies and new formats such as limited liability partnerships, the Ministry needs to develop new oversight structures and enabling frameworks.
He said the last two decades were the times of great change for our country as our economy has grown at unprecedented high rates and the corporate sector has been one of the major drivers of this high economic growth. He referred to the growth of registered companies from about 30 thousand in 1956, the year in which the Companies Act came into force, to having about 9 lakh companies on the rolls of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs today, and said it must be our continuous endeavor to provide our companies a non-cumbersome, customer-friendly and transparent regulatory environment to enable them to function efficiently and productively, to contribute to our economic development and also to fulfill their social obligations.
Dr. Singh expected from the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs to fulfill this role and be of benefit to the corporate sector, the micro, small and medium enterprises, professional bodies such as Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Institute of Cost Accountants of India and Institute of Company Secretaries of India, investors and depositors, trade bodies, and domestic and international educational and professional institutes.
Dr. Manmohan singh said his government stands committed to providing an environment which is conducive to enterprise and growth of entrepreneurship, an environment which will facilitate rapid economic growth and higher living standards. “We are committed to having a regulatory and policy environment which will unleash the creative energies of our people and will fulfill the expectations of our founding fathers of our republic. We must adjust our systems, rules, procedures and processes of administration to meet the needs that would arise in the years to come,” he said.
He also complemented the Union Corporate Affairs Minister Dr. M. Veerappa Moily on the setting-up of the National Corporate Social Responsibility Foundation, as a division within the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs. “This would help our country to take a leadership position in the area of corporate social responsibility.”
He also referred to The Companies Bill, presently under consideration of Parliament, and said IT seeks to provide a further fillip to the cause of corporate social responsibility, corporate governance and investor protection. He expressed the hope of passing of this bill shortly.
Earlier, welcoming the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Union Corporate Affairs Minister Dr. M. Veerappa Moily said, “With the liberalization of the economy and the resultant influx of both technology and investment, enthusiasm in terms of business confidence, buoyant economy, increasing business investments and enhanced global presence are palpably visible. Different inputs, therefore, are required to address the changing needs of the corporate sector.”
He further added, “Global opportunities generating capital, technology, finance and expertise are no longer limited- several alliances have been forged between Indian companies and their foreign counterparts, while venture capital and private equity have experienced significant changes. All these changes have come about as a result of enabling regulatory frameworks which facilitate the corporate sector to function productively and responsibly.”
The next major challenge is the adequate capacity building at all levels of corporate governance. Setting up of IICA is a step in that direction. He said IICA is first of its kind anywhere in the world, and has been designed to function as a holistic, capacity-building institution and a think-tank for corporate regulation and reform, through synergized knowledge-creation and management, global partnerships and real time solutions. The IICA is expected to undertake research, consultancy, incubation and problem-solving to enable innovative solutions. It will aim to foster inclusive growth and entrepreneurial excellence with a focus on ethical business practices.