New Delhi: As part of precautionary measures against the spread of coronavirus outbreak, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has relaxed several norms including board meeting obligations and physical official meetings for financial reports and restructuring.
In a letter to all companies and LLPs (limited liability partnership), Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas said: "Taking cognizance of the gravity of the public health situation, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has relaxed the ruled with respect to meeting on board and dispensed with the necessity of holding physical meetings on matters relating of approval of financial statements, board report, restructuring etc, up to 30th June 2020."
He also said that the government is examining the necessity of other relaxations under the Companies Act, 2013.
The ministry has also advised all companies and LLPs to adopt the 'work from home' policy till March 31, as these organisations are major employers, especially in urban areas.
"As part of disaster management to meet this urgent and severe health exigency all companies/LLPs are expected and strongly advised to put in place an immediate plan to implement the 'work from home' policy as a temporary measure till 31st March, 3030, after which the position will be reviewed by the appropriate authorities as per the evolving situation," the letter dated March 19 said.
It said that the work from home policy should be implemented in all company headquarters and field offices to the "maximum extent possible".
The Ministry is also in the process of developing and deploying simple web form for companies and LLPs to confirm their readiness to deal with the threat of the deadly virus.
The companies have to report compliance using the web service on March 23, the letter said.
As part of the exercise to sensitise the corporate sector and allow them flexibility of operations while maintaining social distance, markets regulator SEBI has also relaxed compliance norms for listed companies and allowed them to file their fourth quarter and annual financial results by June 30.
In general, companies have to report their earnings within one month of a quarter ending and if results get delayed, the companies have to inform the exchanges.
So far, over 200 cases of coronavirus infection have been confirmed in India, and four deaths have been reported so far. Corporate sector, on its part, is also taking numerous initiatives to see that they become responsible citizens and prevent the spread of the virus.