Senate passes companies bill to encourage corporatisation
Senate passed “The Companies Bill, 2017” on Monday with an aim to encourage and promote corporatisation in the country based on best international practices. Minister for Law Zahid Hamid presented the bill in Senate and elaborating its salient features said that it is aimed at ensuring that the procedures of doing business in the country are simplified.
The minister said that it would encourage more investment in the country. The bill is already passed by the National Assembly. The bill provides adequate measures against fraud, money laundering and terrorist financing, besides necessary provisions have been proposed regarding powers of the commission to investigate including joint investigation and provisions requiring officers of a company to take adequate measures to curb such violations.
According to statement of object and reasons of the bill, it intends to replace the Companies Ordinance, 1984 (XLVII of 1984) in order to consolidate and amend the laws relating to companies so as to encourage and promote corporatization in the country.
The bill also says that earlier amendments in the Companies Ordinance 1984 were made in piecemeal and were narrowly focused, resulting in disconnect and overlap in regulatory framework and there is a dire need to review and revamp the thirty two years old legislation to provide competitive legal framework for the corporate sector.
The bill will ensure maximum participation of members in decision making process of the company through the use of modern electronic means of communication, and aims to address the issues relating to protection of interests of minority shareholders and creditors, it says.
“It will facilitate the growth of economy in general and corporate sectors in particular by providing a simplified procedure for ease of starting and doing business, greater protection of investors and augment corporatization in the country,” the bill says.
The bill provides adequate manners against fraud, money laundering and terror financing, and necessary provisions have been proposed regarding powers of the commission including joint investigation and the provision requiring officers of a company to take adequate measures to curb such violations, it says.
The bill further aims to give immediate impetus to the economy, and to stimulate economic growth there is an emergent need to promulgate the proposed Companies Bill, 2016 to provide relief and incentives to corporate sectors, especially medium and small sized companies. “The market experts and business community were at the unison during various stakeholders’ consultations on the companies law that it should be enacted at the earliest as it will elevate Pakistan’s economy and address longstanding demands of the business community. Unless emergent legislative steps are taken, Pakistan’s corporate sector will not be able to compete with the international market players without a reduction in cost of the incorporating and doing business,” it says.
The encouragement of use of modern communication technology coupled with simplified regulatory procedure, as envisaged in the new company bill, will provide much needed relief to the corporate sector, it says. Moreover, Pakistan has recently been upgraded to emerging market status and there is a huge international interest to invest in Pakistan due to various policies initiatives of the government, it says.
“The expeditious merger and acquisition mechanism is also necessary to address corporate solvency and growth in Pakistan,” the bill says. The Senate also passed “The Alternate Dispute Resolution Bill, and “The Costs of Litigation Bill, 2017” aimed at empowering courts to impose costs to discourage false and frivolous litigation and unnecessary adjournment.
Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb introduced “The Right of Access to Information Bill, 2017” in the house. Earlier, the house passed a unanimous resolution strongly condemning the barbaric and brutal attack on the convoy of Deputy Chairman Senate Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri in Mastung. The resolution moved by Senator Talha Mahmood expressed deep grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives in the incident.
The resolution also prayed for early recovery of those injured in the attack. It said that such cowardly acts cannot shake the determination of the nation against terrorism.
The house passed another unanimous resolution expressing deep grief and sorrow over the sad demise of Director Staff Senate Secretariat Iftikhar Ahmad Mughal in the terrorist attack in Mastung.
The resolution moved by Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq expressed heartfelt grief and condoled the death with the bereaved family. The resolution eulogised the services spanning over 20 years of late Iftikhar Mughal saying he was known amongst his superiors and colleagues as a humble and a competent officer. The resolution said the services of the officer will always be remembered.