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Govt’s new portal to provide ‘customised data’ on corporates

Complete information about 12 lakh active companies such as academic qualifications of directors on the boards of firms would be made available.

business Updated: Jan 19, 2018 15:30 IST
Union minister for finance Arun Jaitley speaks with MoS for corporate affairs PP Chaudhary at the launch of National Corporate Social Responsibility Data Portal in New Delhi on Friday.
Union minister for finance Arun Jaitley speaks with MoS for corporate affairs PP Chaudhary at the launch of National Corporate Social Responsibility Data Portal in New Delhi on Friday. (PTI Photo)

Stakeholders can soon have customised data on corporates, including about independent directors, with the launch of a government portal that will cater to “heterogeneous requirements”, a senior official said Friday.

Besides, a dedicated portal on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities carried out by the companies has been launched by the corporate affairs ministry on Friday.

There are around 12 lakh active companies in the country and most information about them would be available through these portals.

Corporate affairs secretary Injeti Srinivas said initially the corporate data portal would be static, wherein only information furnished by the government will be available.

“The idea is very shortly we will create customisation so that after paying a small fee you can access the information,” he said at an event to mark the launch of the two websites.

According to him, complete information about 12 lakh active companies such as academic qualifications of directors on the boards of firms would be made available.

Srinivas said information about independent directors would also be available.

“... independent directors are expected to be the custodian of non promoter group. Who are these independent directors? are they really independent or not independent,” he said without elaborating on the issue.

There are around 30 lakh directors in this country who are managing the corporate world. About 30,000-40,000 foreigners are directors with majority of them being of the US origin, followed by the UK and Japan, Srinivas added.

“The effort has been to make it (portal) user friendly, make information available to general public and meet their requirements... all heterogeneous requirement of different classes of people will be met through this website,” he said.

In efforts to ensure more transparency in CSR spending by corporates, a separate portal was also launched.

Under the Companies Act, 2013, certain class of profitable entities are required to shell out at least two per cent of their three-year annual average net profit towards CSR activities. The provision came into force from April 1, 2014.

“What we have now (data on CSR) is what we have through the annual report filing. But tomorrow like Wikipedia every company can have its own user name and password, open its account and then put (out the details). (This) can then also be available for social audit,” Srinivas said.

Further, he noted that anybody and everybody can see what the company is saying and can give their comments whether it is true or untrue.