Corporate affairs minister Veerappa Moily on Monday said the union Cabinet will take up the New Companies Bill for approval within the next fortnight and expressed hope that it will be passed by Parliament before the end of this year.
"The final draft of the New Companies Bill is ready and it has been circulated among the ministries for comments. We expect the Cabinet to take it up for approval within 10-15 days. The bill will be introduced in the Winter session," Moily told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar on corporate governance organised by the privately-run currency exchange MCX and the business paper Economic Times here.
"We are very satisfied with the final draft (of the bill) and hopefully, we have a new Act by December," he said.
The Companies Bill 2009, has been pending for passage for quite some time now and will replace the Companies Act of 1956. The new bill, which was tabled in the backdrop of Satyam fraud, promises greater shareholder democracy and stricter corporate governance norms.
"As a former Law Minister and presently Corporate Affairs minister, I have drafted the bill very carefully. I hope the new bill will provide stricter corporate governance norms," he said adding, "the new bill will help us prevent frauds like Satyam and also help take action after a fraud."
The new bill also seeks compulsory spend on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and a fixed term for independent directors, he said.
"Companies should spend two percent of their profits for CSR activities for the betterment of local community," he said.
On the new Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, which was tabled in Parliament towards the end of the monsoon session, Moily said, "we hope this Bill will help the landowners get good compensation."