Statutory deposits to get security features


NEW DELHI : The Department of Corporate Affairs will roll out an updated and interactive version of its compliance portal with additional security features to prevent fraud and errors in the filing of statutory documents by companies, a person briefed said, seeking anonymity.

According to the person, the new ‘enterprise module’ will be launched in a few months. The new version of the MCA21 portal will allow only persons designated and recognized by the system to access, detect and automatically notify errors in the forms filled out by companies for rectification.

The new portal will remove PDF files and introduce online electronic forms to ensure all sections are completed before submission. In addition, the data available with the MCA will be pre-filled in the form and cannot be modified by the user, adds the person.

The Center is introducing pre-populated forms for all areas of statutory filing, including income tax and goods and services tax (GST), as part of its technology-driven compliance strategy to reduce discretion.

The restructuring of the filing system comes amid increased regulatory scrutiny through the use of artificial intelligence to mine data and detect how companies are doing business. “This will ensure that statutory documents are submitted by someone authorized by the company and not by anyone with access to a username and password. The person must be recognized by the computer system. This will help eliminate disputes related to information submitted to regulators,” the person added.

Experts said that with the introduction of e-forms, businesses will not have to file details available on the MCA portal 21, “Under the current business filing system, a person with a permanent account number ( PAN), email id and mobile number could register multiple login id in MCA21 filing system. In the new system, a person can only have one login id with details. This will reduce multiplicity login credentials of registrants and the system will be able to identify who is the owner of a specific login ID,” explained Sandip Kumar Kejriwal, Corporate Secretary and Fellow of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India ( ICSI), Eastern Region of India.

“In the beginning, professionals or businesses may encounter start-up difficulties, but in due course, it will be comfortable and beneficial for all stakeholders, businesses and professionals,” Kejriwal said.

When the government migrated to online filings on the MCA21 portal about 15 years ago, there were some initial issues that were resolved quickly, he added.

An email sent on Saturday to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce went unanswered until press time.

The new ranking system will provide the ability to customize the interface with regulators in certain ways for convenience. In March, the ministry revamped the filing system for limited liability companies. It is also leveraging technologies such as artificial intelligence to leverage business data to improve policymaking, forecasting of financial stresses across different sectors, and effective enforcement.

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