ISLAMABAD, : The Senate on Monday unanimously approved the draft Companies Bill, 2017. Earlier, on February 6, 2017, the National Assembly had passed it, and referred it to the Senate Standing Committee of Senate on Finance, Revenue, Statistics, Economic Affairs and Privatization on February 17, for consideration and report.
The Committee undertook a clause-by-clause reading of the Bill in its ten meetings held during April-May besides a public hearing held in Karachi. The SECP Chairman along with his team attended the aforesaid meetings as well as public hearing and assisted the committee. The committee finally accorded its approval in its meeting on May 4, and the report of the committee was placed before the Senate in the session that started on May 12 for consideration and approval.
The draft Bill incorporate the comments of the stakeholders based on the extensive consultations undertaken by the SECP earlier, including professional accounting bodies, representative business associations, chambers of commerce, etc.
The major changes to the draft Companies Bill, 2016 approved by the Parliament include various measures to ensure ease of doing business for investors, exemption from various regulatory requirements for small scale businesses, streamlining the provisions for beneficial ownership of companies, allowing a simple one-page memorandum of association while allowing all permissible business activities, measures to improve corporate governance practices including representation of female directors on the boards of public interest companies, representation of disabled persons in such companies, measures for enhanced transparency and timely disclosures for protection of stakeholders’ interests, etc.
Mr. Zahid Hamid, Minister for Law and Justice, and Senator Azam Swati greatly appreciated the efforts of Mr. Saleem Mandviwalla, Chairman of the Senate’s Standing Committee, as well as its members. They also appreciated the hard work of SECP’s officials.