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Over 4.32 Lakh Non-Operational Firms Struck Off Under Special Drives: Government

In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government has undertaken special drives for identification and striking off non-operational companies under Section 248 of the Companies Act

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

More than 4.32 lakh non-operational companies have been struck off from the official records under special drives and out of them, 49,921 companies were removed in the last fiscal, according to the government.

In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government has undertaken special drives for identification and striking off non-operational companies under Section 248 of the Companies Act.

"4,32,796 number of companies have been struck off in these special drives undertaken till 2021-22," she said.

In 2021-22, a total of 49,921 number of non-operational companies were struck off.

Under the Act, there is no definition of the terms 'shell company' and 'fraudulent shell company'.

According to the minister, Section 164(2)(a) of the Act empowers the corporate affairs ministry to disqualify the directors of those companies which have not filed financial statement or annual return for any continuous period of three financial years.

Such individuals can be barred from being re-appointed as a director of the company concerned or in other companies for five years.

"By invoking the said provision, the ministry had also disqualified 5,68,755 directors," Sitharaman said.

Further, she said that based on information received from various banks, the central government had ordered investigations into the true ownership of 68 such companies which had deposited Rs 25 crore or more in bank accounts and withdrew in an exceptional manner post demonetisation.

The Companies Act, 2013, is being implemented by the corporate affairs ministry.
 

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