1,553 companies incorporated in 2003: SECP

KARACHI (September 13 2003): The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) said that 1,553 companies were incorporated in the year ended June 30, 2003, up from 1,184 of the preceding year after improvement in legal framework and develop an attractive environment.

SECP took number of steps to boost confidence of business house in this direction including improvement in the legal framework, extending facilitation in incorporation, introduction of the single member private limited company concept, accelerated statutory compliance through launching of different schemes and adoption of the latest IT tools with readiness to take advantage of online filing.

The exorbitant and substantially high rates of stamp duty prevailing in the provinces of Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan was considered to be a discouraging factor and an impediment in incorporation of companies, the release of SECP issued on Friday said.
<br> The high rate of fees was also a main hindrance in incorporation of companies. These hurdles have been removed to a considerable extent.

The previous rates of stamp duty of Rs 10,000 prevailing in the province of Punjab and Sindh has been decreased to Rs 2,000 only.

Moreover, the rates of fees has been decreased, to provide the intended promoters to get incorporated companies and promote the concept of corporatisation.

The decreased rates of stamp duty would definitely reduce incorporation costs and encourage corporatisation of businesses having a healthy impact on economic development of the country.

Depicting encouraging growth in the incorporation of companies, 1,553 companies were incorporated in the year 2002-2003, compared with 1,184 in 2001-2002 and 1,167 in 2000-2001.

The improvement in facilities available to sponsors of companies at the Company Registration Offices (CRO) of the SECP has been a major contributing factor towards this growth.

There has been substantial improvement in the office environment and culture at the CROs so as to make them proactive and service-oriented.

New companies are now registered within two days and other services like registration of mortgages, inspection of files and supply of certified copies are provided on the same day.

In addition, names of new companies are not only available on the same day but also on the SECP's website. Further measures include:

Activating dormant companies or abolishing them if they cannot possibly be operative.

Introduction of schemes like the Companies Regularisation Scheme and the Easy Exit Scheme. Introduction of Fast Track Company Formation Desk.

Recommendation to the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) to give the status of 'individual' to a single member company.

This will help increase the rate of incorporation of single member companies as well as the government's efforts for documentation of the economy.

Framed rules and regulations and recommend amendments in the Companies Ordinance, 1984 with a view to improve the legal framework governing the corporate sector.

In this regard, amendments in Companies Ordinance 1984 for effective growth of the corporate sector were promulgated through Companies (Amendment) Ordinance 2002.

Amendments in the Companies (General Provisions and Forms) Rules, 1985 have been notified to fully utilise the benefit of a computerised information system.

Amendments in Companies (Invitation and Acceptance of Deposits) Rules, 1987 have been proposed to safeguard the interest of general public and to bring the deposits taken by the companies, involved in the business of development of housing estates, colony organisation and in automobile sector within the ambit of the Rules.

The Companies (Registration Offices) Regulation, 1986 have been replaced with the new Companies (Registration Offices) Regulation, 2003.

Under the new regulations the Registrar of Companies will henceforth be required to dispose of the cases of the company with definite period of time.

Computerised workflow operational at the Commission's head office and Company Registration Offices, having an interface with electronic Document Management System, has improved efficiency and effectiveness to facilitate registration and ensure compliance.

The SECP is also gearing towards allowing online filing and registration subject to the measures taken by the federal government under the Electronic Transaction Ordinance, 2002.

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