Meeting held to review progress on draft companies bill

ISLAMABAD, July 18 (APP): Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar held a meeting with Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and other SECP officials here on Monday to review progress made in the draft Companies Bill, 2016.

The Chairman SECP on the occasion said a detailed
consultative process has been undertaken with respect to the draft Companies Bill, 2016 in the light of Finance Minister’s direction.

Subsequently keeping in view valuable comments by
stakeholders, the draft Companies Bill has been duly amended.

Certain new concepts were also discussed including the
provisions to ensure corporate transparency and facilitate
meaningful due diligence whereby key officers and beneficial owner of the company will be required to disclose their Beneficial Ownership in local and foreign companies.

Such information as reported by the company will be
maintained in the companies’ Global Register. Furthermore, for prevention of fraud and money laundering every officer of the company shall be required to take necessary measures to prevent the commission of fraud and money laundering in the respective company.

Any failure on the part of such officer shall be an offence.
The SECP, it may be mentioned is also proposing to introduce provisions regarding certain specialized companies including Free Zone companies and Agricultural Promotion Companies.

The free zone companies will cater to carrying out business
in Export Processing Zones notified by the Federal Government.

The introduction of Free Zone Companies will cater for
Pakistan’s future export needs especially in the wake of CPEC which will potentially change the economic landscape of the country.

The Agriculture Promotion Company shall provide impetus and support to the rural economy and induce increase in agricultural produce and its management through facilitation of warehousing, issuance of credible warehouse receipts for agricultural commodity, stock and audit verification.

The minister advised that the draft bill may be formally
submitted to the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Law for legal vetting and initiating the legislative process with the respect to the bill.

The minister directed that the new concepts should be shared with the stakeholders and only after exhaustive and broad based consultation the same may be included in the proposed companies’ bill at a later stage.