Indian companies have been found wanting when it comes to filing their statutory statements, with 54 percent of them not furnishing their balance sheets and annual returns with the authorities, according to official statistics.
As many as 370,196 companies did not file their balance sheets with the Registrar of Companies (ROC) in 2008-09 while 371,110 firms did not furnish their annual returns, Corporate Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid told the Lok Sabha on Monday.
In the year before, their numbers stood at 3,03,230 and 3,07,236 respectively, the minister said in a written reply.
Out of all private and public firms operating in the country, a total of 677,095 were required to file these returns in 2008-09 and 6,18,674 in the year before. "The annual returns and balance sheets for 2009-10 are not yet due for filing," the minister said.
In percentage terms, the cases of non-compliance were a tad lower. In 2007-08, about 49 percent of the firms did not file the statutory documents while the year before about 46 percent had not submitted them.
The penalties imposed on the non-complying companies were, however, paltry. In 2008-09, the government collected Rs.63.84 lakh for such non-compliance, Rs.88.17 lakh in 2007-08 and Rs.94.66 lakh in 2006-07.
Khurshid had said last week that imposing penalties on errant firms was certainly not an answer and a more concerted effort was required for these companies to adhere to the rules and regulations.
"For many of these companies, imposing a penalty is like giving a Sheikh a parking ticket," Khurshid had told reporters here on the sidelines of a meeting with his ministry officials from across the country.