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SECP simplifies statutory returns format

ISLAMABAD (August 06 2003) : The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has simplified the format of statutory returns for the convenience of companies incorporated under the Companies Ordinance, 1984.

The returns prescribed in the Companies (General Provision and Forms) Rules, 1985, are used by the companies for making applications and submission of the returns to SECP and the Company Registration Offices.

SECP has issued an SRO 687(1)/2003 of July 7, 2003 to introduce reforms pertaining to changes in the statutory returns.

Now, the forms relating to statutory returns have been completely revamped and designed considering the Information Technology solutions and the automation already adopted by the SECP and also for the purpose of online submission system, targeted for near future.

It is hoped that the new set of forms would facilitate proper compliance with the statutory requirements and in maintaining the companies data and retrieval of requisite information from the database more effectively.

Some of the major reforms introduced are as under:

Mode of serving notice/documents:

In the past, corporate entities were allowed to send reports/notice/documents to their members utilising only traditional modes of sending mails ie either trough registered post or under a certificate of posting.

There was an overwhelming demand from the corporate sector that considering the convenience and promptness of service extended by the courier communication with its shareholders.

The recent amendments in the Rules now allow usage of courier facility apart traditional postal mail.

Documents submitted with application for alteration in memorandum:

Keeping in view the practical difficulties of the corporate sector, the amendments have been made in the Rules to simplify, rationalise and streamline the information/documents to be furnished with application for alteration in memorandum so that the SECP may accord its approval at the earliest.

Company representatives in proceeding before the Commission:

Before these amendments in Rules, only a chartered accountant, cost and management accountant or an advocate practising at the level of High Court/ Supreme Court could appear in proceedings before the commission on behalf of the company.

These amendments have broaden the scope of representation and now the chief executive, company secretary and such other person possessing the qualification prescribed by the Commission can appear on behalf of the company in proceedings before the Commission.

Signatories on the returns submitted with the Commission:

Previously, any director of the company was eligible to sign the returns filed by the companies with the Commission that, in some cases resulted in filing of disputed returns by different directors.

Now, the amendments have been made to eliminate possible disputes over authenticity of returns submitted by the companies and it has been proved that the returns shall only be signed and submitted by the chief executive or the secretary of a company.

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