Corporate affairs minister M Veerappa Moily took charge of his new portfolio in New Delhi on Wednesday and said the passage of a new bill to replace the 55-year-old Companies Act and issues of corporate governance were his top priorities.
Moily also brushed aside suggestions that he was unhappy with the way he was treated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi and shifted out of the ministry of law and justice -- a portfolio he was rather confident of retaining.
"This ministry is not new to me. As law minister, I used to get several references from this ministry," Moily said, in his first comments after taking charge at his new office at 'C' Wing of Shastri Bhavan.
"There is an altogether new bill for companies that has been drafted. My priority is to see it through. It is a state-of-the-art legislation. This is a major challenge," the minister said, adding he will also focus on corporate governance.
Moily said it was his firm belief that corporate affairs ministry was crucial for the development of India and that it was with this in mind that he will work on his newly assigned portfolio.
"I am very happy with the prime minister and Congress president. They have something in mind. They know I am a reformist. That is why I have been assigned this portfolio. Let me settle down."