4.83 L Cos Have Women Directors on Their Boards: Sitharaman

New Delhi
4.83 L Cos Have Women Directors on Their Boards: Sitharaman

As many as 4.83 lakh companies have women directors on their boards, Parliament was informed today.

In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman said that a total of "4,83,323 companies including public limited companies are having women directors as board members". There are 1.26 lakh public limited companies in the country.

Companies Act makes it mandatory for every listed company and every public company having paid-up share capital of Rs 100 crore or turnover of at least Rs 300 crore to appoint at least one women director.

Besides, capital market regulator Sebi, in keeping with the new Companies Law, mandated that every publicly listed company have at least one woman director on its board. The deadline for that is October 1.

Meanwhile, according to Prime Database, 904 companies had not yet appointed a woman director on their board till 30 June.

In the four-and-a-half months since the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) announced its deadline, only 91 women have been appointed to 97 directorship positions in 94 companies, according to Indianboards.Com, a joint initiative of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Prime Database.

Of these 94 companies, 16 firms already had a woman on the board before the Sebi guideline was announced, implying that only 78 firms have since complied with the requirement.

"Within these 78 companies, 74 women have been appointed to 80 directorship positions. Significantly, at least 19 of these 80 directorship positions, or nearly one-fourth, have been filled by appointing women belonging to the promoter group," Prime Database managing director Pranav Haldea.

"These women shall have the same voice as the promoter, defeating the very purpose of genuine (independent) gender diversity," he added.

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