The government could make virtual board meetings, annual general meetings (AGMs) and extraordinary general meetings (AGMs) a permanent feature. It is considering such a proposal and suitable changes could be made to the Companies Act, a government official said. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) is looking to permanently shift AGMs, EGMs and board meetings to virtual mode, the official said. “Since this is the new normal, we are considering making it a part of the normal scheme of things rather than a Covid-19 specific relaxation,” the official said.
Since March last year, the ministry has granted multiple relaxations regarding statutory compliances to companies, in light of the disruptions caused by the pandemic, along with several extensions to various deadlines. The concessions include a decision to do away with the requirement of a physical board meeting to pass certain resolutions such as approval of mergers or restructuring and the permission to hold AGMs and EGMs via video conference or other audio-visual means (OAVM).
Earlier this month, the ministry permitted firms to hold AGMs via VC or OAVM till December 31, 2021, subject to existing timelines. Experts feel the move is a step in the right direction, but the ministry would have to design the rules to ensure that shareholders’ interests are protected. This, they said, would require amendments to the Companies Act.
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