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The Big Picture - Decriminalising Company Law

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the Government does not favour laws that treat business houses with suspicion and was working towards decriminalizing the Companies Law. Sitharaman said that apart from decriminalising corporate laws - settling tax disputes and privatisation of government-run firms are on the agenda to achieve the $5 trillion economy goal. The government has already identified statutory changes to be made in the Companies Act that decriminalise procedure lapses and do not affect public interest as part of its effort to improve ease of doing business. About 46 amendments to penal provisions may be made to either remove criminality or restrict punishment to only fine or allow rectification of defaults using alternatives, to de-clog the criminal justice system in the country. The intention now, is to extend this exercise to laws dealing with income tax and money laundering.

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