Silhouettes of people standing near windows. (Photographer: Craig Warga/Bloomberg) 

India Seeks More Details From Firms To Weed Out Shell Companies     

To keep a check on shell companies, the government has mandated firms to share details of their statutory auditors and pictures of registered offices.

The government has notified Companies (Incorporation) Amendment Rules, 2019, which require all firms incorporated on or before Dec. 31, 2017 to fill e-form ACTIVE (Active Company Tagging Identities and Verification) on or before April 25, 2019.

The form, INC-22A, seeks details of companies’ costs, statutory auditors, photographs of registered offices—showing external building as well as from the inside, company and directors’ PAN details, among others, according to a notification by Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

If a company files the e-form post the deadline of April 25, 2019, it will be marked as "ACTIVE compliant" on payment of a fee of Rs 10,000, the notification said.

Also read: Company Law: Government Proposes Changes To Expropriate Property Of Shell Firms

If a company does not fill the details sought by the government, it shall be marked as "ACTlVE non-compliant", and will be liable for action including its deregistration, it said.

Firms that have not filed their financial statements or annual returns with Registrar of Companies will not be allowed to file the e-form, the notification said, adding that a company need not file the form if it is struck off, or is in the process of being struck off, or is under liquidation or amalgamated.