MCA Version 3.0: Changing the Landscape of Corporate Compliance in India INC By FCS Gaurav Kumar



The startup ecosystem in India is growing like never before. New Unicorns (startups valued at $1 billion or more) are being added in the list every year and by 2025 it is expected to have them all crossed the 100th mark. All this could have been possible with the changing governance system of Indian Law which has improved Ease of Doing Business than ever before. The Government is now eyeing to make compliance easy and transparent for all stakeholders paving the way for more people taking the entrepreneurial journey.
 
MCA has envisioned transforming the corporate regulatory environment in India with the Mission Mode e-Governance project of India: MCA 3.0 Version. This project is one among the 31Mision Mode Projects of the National e-Governance Plan. The genesis of this project steps in the year 2002, when the Ministry had faced the problem to provide services to around 7.5 lakh corporate entities.
 
“MCA came online in the year 2006 by TCS which later on was given to Infosys and presently MCA 3.0 project is being operated by L&T InfoTech."

With the advent of the MCA21 3.0 Version, the Government is projecting itself to make use of technology-driven forward-looking compliance management for Companies and LLPs which have operations in India. This project has a larger focus on enhancing the user experience of www.mca.gov.in as most of the professionals have been found complaining non-functioning of the website and crashing MCA abruptly, View Public Documents being a nightmare (only available at night), facilitate seamless integration and data exchange among regulators.
 
"MCA Version 3.0 will ease the process of filing details as a single source of truth will ensure that common information will automatically get updated over various forms. Second, the entire e-adjudication process will go online. This will ensure that nobody is required to go to an RoC. Everything will be on the front-end where entire e-adjudication and then online compliance monitoring would be done. So, if anyone is not complying with the law, e-notice will automatically get generated and reach him", the MCA sources added.
 
According to the latest release by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (post-budget session), the Government is all set to come up with the data analytics-driven MCA21 Version 3.0 which will have additional modules for the following:
 
1.    e-Scrutiny: To set up a Central Scrutiny Cell which will scrutinize certain Straight Through Process (STP) Forms filed by the corporate on the MCA21 registry and flag the companies for more in-depth scrutiny;
 
2.    e-Adjudication: To manage the increased volume of adjudication proceedings by Registrar of Companies (RoC) and Regional Directors (RD), to facilitate end to end digitization of the process of adjudication, for the ease of users, to provide a platform for conducting online hearings with stakeholders and end to end adjudication electronically;
 
3.    e-Consultation: To automate and enhance the current process of public consultation on proposed amendments and draft rules etc., to provide an online platform wherein, proposed amendments/draft legislation will be posted on MCA’s website for external users/ comments and suggestions pertaining to the same in a structured digital format, to facilitate AI-driven sentiment analysis, consolidation and categorization of stakeholders’ inputs and creation of reports on the basis thereof, for reference of MCA;
 
4.    Compliance Management System: To assist MCA in identifying non-compliant companies/LLPs, issuing e-notices to the said defaulting companies/LLPs, generating alerts for internal users of MCA, serving as a technology platform/solution for conducting rule-based compliance checks, and undertaking enforcement drives of MCA wherein e-notices will be issued by MCA for the effective administration of corporate;
 
5.    MCA Lab: To set up an MCA LAB consisting of corporate law experts, to evaluate the effectiveness of Compliance Management System, e-consultation module, enforcement module, etc. and suggest enhancements to the same on an on-going basis, to help MCA in ensuring the correctness of results produced by these key modules in view of the dynamic corporate ecosystem; and
 
6.    Chatbot enabled helpdesk: To provide a cognitive chatbot enabled help desk, mobile apps, interactive user dashboards, enhanced user experience using UI/UX technologies, and seamless data dissemination through APIs.
 
Amid the row over the functionality of its database, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs is working on Version 3 of the MCA-21 database, which will address many current flaws in this online registry.
 
One aspect which is very clear from the MCA perspective is that compliance under the Companies Act, 2013 is going to be at par with Income Tax and GST. This means that companies have to make compliance with the Companies Act, 2013 in due spirit. It is suggested to consult a Company Secretary in practice who is considered an expert in Company Law Matters.
 
The author of this write-up is the Founder of Compliance Calendar LLP.
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