LS passes Bill to decriminalise small offences, promote ease of doing business

Under the 2013 Act, certain provisions from the Companies Act, 1956 continue to apply to producer companies. These include provisions on their membership, conduct of meetings, and maintenance of accounts.

Producer companies include companies which are engaged in the production, marketing and sale of agricultural produce, and sale of produce from cottage industries.

The Bill removes these provisions and adds a new chapter to the Act with similar provisions for producer companies.

The Bill makes three changes. First, it removes the penalty for certain offences. For example, it removes the penalties which apply for any change in the rights of a class of shareholders made in violation of the Act. Where a specific penalty is not mentioned, the Act prescribes a penalty of up to Rs 10,000 which may extend to Rs 1,000 per day for a continuing default.

Second, it removes imprisonment in certain offences. For example, it removes

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